Provincial health officer

"We did hit a peak around mid-November and we've now started to slowly decrease," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday, referring to a drop in the daily number of COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Officials in the Fraser Health region have been reporting some COVID-19 cases erroneously, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

Revisions to several days' worth of previously-announced cases were featured in Henry's daily pandemic update on Wednesday.

"I know we had a dramatic increase in the daily numbers," Henry said. "That was a result of some of these data coming in at different times. So we apologize."

One change saw Tuesday's single-day record, of 941 cases, reduced to 706 cases.

Across B.C., 738 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed between Tuesday and Wednesday, making for a total of 29,086 British Columbians who've been infected by COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic earlier this year.

Seventy new COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday in the region served by Interior Health.

Hospitalizations across B.C. for COVID-19 are now at 294, with 61 of those patients in critical care or intensive care. Thirteen more people have died, making the death toll 371.

On an optimistic note, Henry said she believed the first COVID-19 vaccinations could be available shortly in B.C.

"As we know there's a light in our future on the horizon as we hear more and more positive news about vaccines," Henry said. "As we know, though, this will be a large, complex undertaking."

"We want to make sure that we are ready and able to deliver vaccines as soon as they're available to us, hopefully as early as January," Henry said.

Dr. Ross Brown, vice-president for pandemic response with Vancouver Coastal Health, has been appointed to lead the province's COVID-19 vaccine program. Brown was a military surgeon with the Canadian Armed Forces who served two tours in Bosnia and three tours in Afghanistan.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the pending COVID-19 vaccination effort will be "the most significant immunization program in the history of B.C."

"We are sparing no effort to ensure that goes well," Dix said.