B.C. public health officials reported another 617 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest total this week as the infection rate in the Fraser Health and Northern Health regions has started creeping up again.
Of the new cases, 342 were in Fraser Health, and another 146 were diagnosed in the Vancouver Coastal region. Northern Health recorded 92 new cases, while Interior Health had only 17 and Vancouver Island remained low in infection spread with 19 new cases.
There are 224 people in hospital with conditions related to the novel coronavirus, down from 232 on Wednesday, and 60 in intensive care, down from 63, as well as four more deaths. There are 4,348 active cases in the province, and 7,440 people under active public health monitoring after identified exposure.
B.C. has passed the 180,000 mark in vaccine doses delivered, with more Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive this week after a production outage at the European plant that supplies Canada.
Two new outbreaks have been declared in the health care system, at Mission Memorial Hospital and Fleetwood Villa senior home in Surrey. An outbreak at Cariboo Memorial Hospital has been declared over. Outbreaks are declared when as few as one staff member, patient or resident tests positive, and are declared over after testing shows no further spread.
There has been one community outbreak declared at the Simon Fraser University child care centre.
“We remind everyone about the importance of using all of our layers of protection: maintaining a safe distance from others, washing our hands regularly, staying home when we are ill, using a mask in all public spaces and having robust COVID-19 safety plans in all businesses,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Feb. 18. “Equally important is the need to ensure you are following all province-wide public health orders and restrictions – especially with the uptick in cases in the Lower Mainland and northern region.”