B.C.’s first COVID-19 update of the week revealed 1,344 more infections have been confirmed since Friday.
Over the three-day period, health officials in the province also recorded 26 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.
The updates bring B.C.’s totals since the start of the pandemic to 64,828 cases and 1,154 deaths.
Three of the latest cases are epidemiologically linked, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.
Friday to Saturday was the period that saw the most positive test results, with 527. Another 471 were recorded from Saturday to Sunday, and just 346 cases were confirmed between Sunday and Monday.
Doctors are watching closely as the province announces the presence of COVID-19 variants that have come from elsewhere.
On Monday, the province’s top doctor said there are now five cases of the U.K. variant, all of which are related to travel or close contact with someone who has travelled.
Another three cases of the South African variant are known to exist in B.C., none of which were acquired through travel. Henry said the people infected are not linked to each other, and officials are now investigating.
Two cases are in Vancouver Coastal Health and the other is in the Fraser Health region.
Dr. Henry said there are currently 4,392 cases considered active in B.C. Some 328 are in hospital, including 68 in intensive care.
Another 6,607 people are under active monitoring from health officials because of exposures to COVID-19.
On the positive side, Henry said 57,831 people who were confirmed to have COVID infections are now considered recovered. This represents 89.2 per cent of known cases.
Monday’s was the first update since officials announced the province’s next steps in its immunization plan. It’s estimated 4.3 million British Columbians will receive their vaccines by the end of September.
Henry announced a single new outbreak in a health-care setting in B.C., this time at Nanaimo General Hospital.
“On a very positive note, we now have 11 outbreaks that have been declared over,” she said.
Those outbreaks were at the following facilities: Avalon Gardens, Braddan Private Hospital, Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge, Good Samaritan Delta View Care Lodge, Menno Home, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge, Sunrise of Vancouver, Harrison at Elim Village, Waterford Retirement Residence, Williams Lake Seniors Village and the UHNBC Rehab Unit.
“This brings a moment of happiness to us all, and relief for many of the care providers and the families with loved ones in the facilities,” an emotional Dr. Henry said.
“I think it is reflection as well of how important the immunization program that we’ve had in long-term care over these last few weeks (is), and the difference that it’s going to make.”
Monday’s updates bring the total number of active health-care outbreaks to 38 in B.C.
Additionally, Henry said another 19 young people were investigated for Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C. An investigation suggested that none of the cases, however, have been associated to COVID-19.
Six children, who are between the ages of one and 15, have been diagnosed in the province, the doctor said.