B.C.’s COVID-19 curve, which has been trending downward for weeks, has experienced a significant spike with 617 new cases announced on Thursday.
The figure is the first time the province’s highest daily case count has exceeded 500 since Jan. 29 and it’s the highest one-day total since Jan. 7, when 761 British Columbians tested positive for the respiratory disease.
According to a joint statement from Health Minister Adrian Dix and the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the majority of new cases occurred in the Fraser Health, with 342 news cases, and Vancouver Coastal Health, with 146 new cases, on Wednesday.
Statistically, however, the biggest jump occurred in the Northern Health region, which services 300,000 people and is by far the least-populous of the province’s five health authorities. IT reported 92 cases on Thursday.
“We remind everyone about the importance of using all of our layers of protection: maintaining a safe distance from others, washing our hands regularly, staying home when we are ill, using a mask in all public spaces and having robust COVID-19 safety plans in all businesses,” the statement said.
“Equally important is the need to ensure you are following all provincewide public health orders and restrictions — especially with the uptick in cases in the Lower Mainland and northern region.”
B.C. health officials also declared new outbreaks at two health-care facilities, Mission Memorial Hospital and Fleetwood Villa, a retirement facility in Surrey, while declaring an outbreak over at Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake.
Dix and Henry said four more people had died from COVID-19, raising the province’s death toll from the disease to 1,321.
A total of 75,327 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, while the number of confirmed active cases sits at 4,348, after jumping by nearly 200 Wednesday.
The province says 180,691 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far, and 29,952 of those are second doses.
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