The trend of fewer British Columbians in hospital with COVID-19, and fewer residents battling active infections continued on February 8, as the government released new data.
There are now 234 people in B.C. hospitals battling the virus that spawned a global pandemic. That is 19 fewer than the last update, on February 5, and the lowest total since November 20, when there were 227 people in B.C. hospitals with the virus. Of those now in hospital, 69 individuals are in intensive care units.
The number of people known to be carrying the virus in B.C. has also been on the decline. There are now 3,976 people who have been infected and have not yet tested negative multiple times, which is the process for considering people as having recovered. That is the lowest total since November 6, when there were 3,741 people with active infections. Given that B.C. had a record 10,039 people with active infections on December 14, that metric has fallen considerably.
Unfortunately, B.C. recorded 13 additional deaths that health officials attribute to the virus. That raises the province's death toll from COVID-19 to 1,259.
New cases, however, continue to pile up. In the three days since the last data update, B.C. has recorded 1,236 new cases. That includes 428 cases on February 6, 465 cases on February 7, and 343 cases in the past 24 hours, according to provincial health officer Bonnie Henry.
The new cases push the province's total number of infections above 70,000, to 70,952. Henry noted that the province has so far had 40 cases of COVID-19 variants: 25 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the U.K., and 15 cases of the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa. There are so far no cases of the Brazilian variant E484K, which was first discovered in Canada during the weekend, with one case in Ontario.
"We have a whole lot of genetic mutations," Henry said. "We have not found any [cases] of the variant associated with Brazil here in B.C., yet, but we are definitely looking for it."
Of those infected with COVID-19 in B.C., 65,605 people, or more than 92.4%, have recovered. That percentage of people who have recovered from infections in the province has been rising.
Here is the breakdown of where the 1,236 new cases, detected in the past three days, are located:
• 266 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (21.5%);
• 601 people in Fraser Health (48.6%);
• 86 in Island Health (7%);
• 152 in Interior Health (12.3%); and
• 131 in Northern Health (10.6%).
Vaccinations have been helping reduce infections. So far, 154,496 doses of vaccine have been administered to 142,385 people. So far, 12,111 people have received second doses of the vaccines.
New COVID-19 outbreaks have been detected at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital in Abbotsford, and at the Dawson Creek and District Hospital in Dawson Creek.
Two hospital outbreaks have now been declared over. They were at Mount St. Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver, and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in Nanaimo.
The nine hospitals in B.C. with active outbreaks now include:
• Abbotsford Regional Hospital in Abbotsford;
• Burnaby General Hospital in Burnaby;
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Dawson Creek and District Hospital in Dawson Creek;
• Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster;
• Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops;
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey; and
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.
Outbreaks at two seniors' homes have also been deemed to be over: at Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock, and at Hilltop House in Squamish.
That means that there are now COVID-19 outbreaks at 22 seniors' care homes, assisted-living facilities and retirement residences across the province.
The two active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health are at Minoru Residence in Richmond and Holy Family long-term care centre in Vancouver.
There are 12 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health. They are at:
• Bradley Centre in Chilliwack;
• Concord By the Sea in White Rock;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Eagle Ridge Manor in Port Moody;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz;
• Hilton Villa Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• Mountain View Manor in Ladner;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster;
• St. Michael's Centre Extended Care in Burnaby; and
• Suncreek Village in Surrey.
The two active outbreaks at a seniors' living facilities in Northern Health are at Jubilee Lodge in Prince George, and Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert.
The six active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are at:
• Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops;
• Creekside Landing in Vernon;
• Heritage Square in Vernon;
• Noric House in Vernon;
• Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver; and
• Westsyde Care Residences in Kamloops.
There are no outbreaks at seniors' facilities in Island Health.