COVID-19 update: B.C. reports 407 new cases, 14 deaths
VANCOUVER -- British Columbia reported 407 new cases of COVID-19 and another 14 deaths from the disease on Tuesday.
The province has now recorded a total of 65,234 coronavirus infections and 1,168 related fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
While the average number of daily cases has decreased significantly since December, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday's case increase is still "much higher than we want it to be."
"We are asking for everyone's help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province," Henry and Dix said in a joint written statement.
On Monday, the provincial health officer noted B.C.'s daily cases have plateaued at around 500 per day, and warned that further restrictions could be necessary if infections begin to spike once more.
B.C.'s number of active cases dropped to 4,260 on Tuesday, a decrease of 132 infections from the day before. That includes 313 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 71 of whom are in intensive care. Everyone else who has tested positive is recovering at home in self-isolation, health officials said. Another 6,450 people are also under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to a known case of COVID-19.
Of all infections recorded so far, nearly 90 per cent – or 58,352 people – have recovered.
British Columbia has administered 122,359 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines so far, including 4,105 second doses. The province's immunization program has hit another roadblock, however, with officials revealing Monday that the number of doses that were expected to arrive in the first week of February has been "dramatically reduced."
As a result, the province has decided to temporarily extend the intervals between doses to 42 days.
While B.C. awaits more doses, health officials urged everyone to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19, and suggested people who are already acting responsibly can "be the voice of support and encouragement for those who may be wavering in their resolve."
"For the few who have chosen to put aside the public health precautions we all need to follow and make exceptions for themselves, now is your time to join or rejoin us in our efforts. It is never too late to be a part of the team who is making a difference every day across our province," Henry and Dix said.
The greatest source of transmission remains spending time with people from outside of one's household, work or school bubble, according to officials.
There were no new outbreaks to report on Tuesday, and the outbreak at German Canadian Benevolent Society Home has been declared over.