B.C. health officials announced another 435 cases of COVID-19 and four related deaths on Tuesday.
The province has now re corded a total of 71,387 infections and 1,263 coronavirus fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
In a joint written statement, provincial health story Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix offered condolences to “everyone who has lost loved ones due to COVID-19.”
B.C.’s total recoveries increased by just 13 – an unusually small number – which resulted in the province’s active caseload jumping to 4,393. That’s an increase of 417 cases from Monday.
Another 6,879 people are under active health monitoring after being exposed to a known case of COVID-19.
Hospitalizations increased by seven, to 241, which includes 68 patients in intensive care.
Another 1,089 people have received one of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines over the last day, bringing the provincial total to 155,585. Some 12,802 of those recipients have also been given their second dose.
British Columbia was left with a decreased supply of doses because of delayed shipments from both Pfrizer-BioNTeach and Moderna, but Henry indicated this week that the province is expecting to ramp up its immunization program soon.
“Each week this month our available supply will increase, and we are looking forward to early in March when we anticipate being able to fully start our mass vaccination clinics across the province,” she said Monday.
Health officials also announced one new outbreak, at a group home in Kamloops known as Highridge home and Singh House. Six staff members have tested positive so far.
“To protect the safety of all residents, outbreak protocols are in place,including a pause in all visits at this site,” Interior Health said in a news release.
Highridge Home and Singh House are privately operated by Prima Enterprises, and care for people needing around-the-clock support, according to the health authority.
B.C. has recorded an average of about 431 cases per day over the last week, down from an average of about 573 one month ago.
Health officials said the province has been “making progress” in the fight against COVID-19, and urged the public to remain vigilant so that the current public health order that bans socializing between households can potentially be relaxed soon.
“We can keep this positive, forward momentum going and help keep our province safe through the small efforts we make every day,” Henry and Dix wrote.
“Fewer cases, outbreaks or unchecked transmission is what we need to give us all a clear path forward. Let’s support each other today, this weekend and the next to help make that happen.”