The number of people actively battling COVID-19 in B.C. fell for the fifth consecutive day, to the lowest total since November 6: 4,624.
This number keeps falling as the number of people considered recovered outpaces the number of new infections. While the province detected 536 new cases, there were 712 new recoveries.
The new cases bring the total number of people diagnosed as having the virus, since the first case was detected last January, to 59,608. More than 88.2%, or 52,605 of those people, are considered to be recovered, while the province lost track of 1,341 people who had tested positive and likely left the province.
Unfortunately, seven more people – all seniors, according to provincial health officer Bonnie Henry – died overnight. That brings B.C.'s death toll from the virus to 1,038, since the first death was recorded on March 9. Six of the new deaths were in the Fraser Health region, while one death was on Vancouver Island.
Most of those with active infections have been told to self-isolate, although 362 people have ailments severe enough to be in hospital, with 74 of those in intensive care units.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said that, including new beds that have been added to the hospital system, B.C.'s hospitals are at 71.1% capacity, with its intensive care units at 54.2% capacity. This is down substantially from the same time last year, when the system overall was at more than 100% capacity.
Here is a breakdown of where the 536 new cases were identified:
• 102 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (19%);
• 253 people in Fraser Health (47.2%);
• 21 in Island Health (3.9%);
• 115 in Interior Health (21.4%); and
• 45 in Northern Health (8.4%).
Vaccinations have started to ramp up again, thanks to the province getting more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and remote communities in B.C. using doses of the Moderna vaccine. There were 6,313 additional people who have been vaccinated since the government's update yesterday, and a total of 69,746 people vaccinated since vaccinations started on December 16.
Henry said that B.C. has detected more-infectious variants of the COVID-19 virus, which are believed to have originated in the U.K., and in South Africa. There have been four cases of the U.K. variant, including three cases that are linked, while the other infection was a traveller. One person has the South African variant, but that person did not travel and health officials do not know how the person contracted the virus.
"Right now, we don't believe that either of those variants are causing a lot of spread of illness in our communities, yet, but we are not by any means, out of the woods," Henry said.
There are two new healthcare outbreaks: at Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops and Maple Ridge Seniors' Village in Maple Ridge.
The outbreaks have been declared over at Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted-living facility in Duncan.
Current outbreaks at 52 seniors' living, and other health facilities, are responsible for 2,230 cases, including ones in 1,454 residents and 776 staff, Henry said.
The 12 hospitals that have active COVID-19 outbreaks are:
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Mount St. Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver;
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Langley Memorial Hospital in Langley;
• Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver;
• Richmond Hospital in Richmond;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey;
• Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver; and
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.
The 11 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health are at:
• Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Braddan Private Hospital in Vancouver;
• Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver;
• Columbus Residence in Vancouver;
• Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond;
• German Canadian Benevolent Society Home in Vancouver;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Minoru Residence in Richmond;
• Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Sunrise of Vancouver in Vancouver; and
• Villa Cathay in Vancouver.
The 27 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health are at:
• Agecare Harmony Court Care Centre in Burnaby;
• Avalon Gardens in Langley;
• Brookside Lodge in Surrey;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• Fleetwood Villa in Surrey;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre in Delta;
• Guildford Seniors' Village in Surrey;
• Hilton Villa Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Kin Village in Tsawwassen;
• Kin Village West Court in Tsawwassen;
• Langley Memorial Hospital long term care - Cedar Hill in Langley;
• Laurel Place in Surrey;
• Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• Maple Ridge Seniors' Village in Maple Ridge;
• Menno Home in Abbotsford;
• Morgan Place Care Facility in Surrey
• Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam;
• Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge in White Rock;
• Queen's Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Rideau Retirement Residence in Burnaby;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster;
• St. Michael's Centre Extended Care in Burnaby;
• Suncreek Village in Surrey;
• The Emerald at Elim Village in Surrey;
• The Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey; and
• The Mayfair Seniors Living & Care in Abbotsford.
The two active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Northern Health are at Jubilee Lodge in Prince George and Williams Lake Seniors Village in Williams Lake.
The nine active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are at:
• Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops;
• Creekside Landing in Vernon;
• Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna;
• Heritage Square in Vernon;
• McKinney Place in Oliver;
• Mountainview Village in Kelowna;
• Noric House in Vernon;
• Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver; and
• Village by the Station in Penticton.
In Island Health, there are three seniors' facilities with an active outbreak of COVID-19:
• Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo;
• Gatehouse Group Home in Victoria; and
• Hart House in Victoria.