B.C. health officials announced 617 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths on Thursday, the highest number of new cases since Jan. 7.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 224 people, 60 of whom are in intensive care.
A total of 1,321 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
There are currently 4,348 active cases of coronavirus in the province, with public health monitoring 7,440 people across B.C. due to COVID-19 exposure. More than 69,602 people who tested positive have recovered.
B.C. recorded two new outbreaks in health-care facilities — one at Mission Memorial Hospital and another at Fleetwood villa. An outbreak at Cariboo Memorial Hospital is now over.
A community outbreak has been reported at the Simon Fraser University Childcare Centre.
The number of people in critical care is at its lowest point since Nov. 24, and the province has seen seven deaths in the last 48 hours, the lowest two-day stretch since Nov. 15 and 16.
An additional 4,676 people received vaccination shots in one day, the highest number in a month, as the new supply of Pfizer vaccine became available. A total of 3,922 people received their second shot, the highest daily figure of the vaccination campaign.
In total so far, 180,691 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 29,952 of those being second doses.
“COVID-19 continues to challenge all of us, which is why taking care of our physical and mental well-being is so important — to get us through the difficult days and get to the brighter days ahead,” said Henry and Dix in the written statement.
Vancouver Coastal Health announced a new potential COVID-19 exposure at a West End bar on Thursday.
The health authority said anyone who was at the Hook Sea Bar at 1210 Denman Street Feb. 9-14 should self-monitor for symptoms of the disease, though the possible exposure is believed to be low risk.
On Wednesday, Dix said the province is expecting to receive 50,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, after it was delayed by a couple of days due to cold weather.
“We’ve delivered all of the immunizations really that we can in B.C. given the supply that’s been provided by the federal government,” said Dix, adding: “Hope is on the horizon.”