B.C. has confirmed 1,428 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths from the disease over the last three days.
According to a written statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, there are now 223 people in hospital with the disease, 63 of whom are in intensive care.
Recent days have seen an upward trend in the number of new cases reported daily, and the test positivity rate is climbing, hitting 6.8 per cent provincewide on Sunday. In the Northern Health region, 12.9 per cent of tests came back positive.
“As community transmission continues, we all need to continue to use all of the layers of protection, to continue to keep to our households only, and to avoid travel unless it is absolutely necessary,” Henry and Dix said.
“We are all susceptible to contracting the virus and passing it onto others, so each day that we recommit to taking the necessary precautions helps to protect us and gets us closer to where we want to be.”
There have been two new outbreaks in hospitals, at Vancouver General Hospital and Kelowna General Hospital, as well as a community outbreak at Grand River Foods in Abbotsford.
A total of 1,335 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began out of 77,263 confirmed cases to date.
There are currently 4,560 active cases of coronavirus in the province. A total of 71,313 people who tested positive have recovered.
So far, 218,716 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 55,057 second doses.
Officials also provided an update on the more easily transmissible variants of concern. There have been 28 new confirmed cases of these variants for a total of 101 identified in B.C. to date. Of those, 81 are the variant first identified in the U.K. and 20 are the variant first reported in South Africa. There have also been two cases of the variant first reported in Nigeria, but the characteristics of that variant are still under investigation.
“It is important to know that while these COVID-19 variants of concern have [been] shown to transmit more easily, the measures we take to stop the spread are exactly the same as what we have been doing since the start of the pandemic. This is the case whether at work, at school or at home,” Henry and Dix said.
“No matter what the variant, COVID-19 can spread before someone has any symptoms of illness. This is what makes breaking the chain of transmission difficult and what makes our individual actions all the more important.”
Earlier Monday afternoon, Dr. Reka Gustafson and Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside held a news conference to address the discovery of a faster-spreading COVID-19 variant first reported in the U.K. in positive cases at seven schools in Surrey and Delta.
They said there has been no evidence so far that the variants have been transmitted within those schools.