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COVID-19 hospitalizations rise in B.C., as do active infections, marking pause in recent headway

Four more people have died from the virus across the province, raising the death toll to 1,263.
Bonnie Henry on February 8
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry spoke with media February 8

The trend of fewer COVID-19 cases in B.C. and fewer related hospitalizations took a pause February 9, as more cases were detected and more hospitalizations took place overnight. 

These metrics are important because provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said yesterday (February 8) that if COVID-19 data metrics start trending in the right direction, she will consider loosening health orders sooner than later. 

"I'm monitoring for a number of things: fewer cases in our community, fewer outbreaks, or unchecked transmission in places around the province – these are important signs that we are ready [to loosen health restrictions]. Also having a better understanding of where the variants of concern are, and how they're getting into our community."

B.C. now has 241 people with infections serious enough to be in hospital. That is up by seven from yesterday, and it includes 68 people whose ailments are serious enough to be in intensive care units. 

The province has a total of 4,393 people actively battling infections – up 417 overnight. 

Four people died from the virus overnight, raising the province's death toll from COVID-19 to 1,263.

The daily number of new cases was 435. That is 92 more than yesterday but still within the range seen in the past couple weeks.

Here is the breakdown of where the 435 new cases, detected in the past day, are located:
• 107 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (24.6%);
• 221 people in Fraser Health (50.8%);
• 23 in Island Health (5.3%);
• 47 in Interior Health (10.8%); and
• 37 in Northern Health (8.5%).

Almost 92%, or 65,618 people, of the 71,387 individuals who have been infected with the virus in B.C. have recovered.

Health officials are closely monitoring another 6,879 people for symptoms, because they have had known exposure to individuals identified as carrying the virus. 

"Our intent is to ease the restrictions that we have in place as soon as it is safe to do so," provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said February 8. "We want to have that confidence that, as we open up more, as we have more social connections, we do not have to step back again."

Some good news is that B.C. has no new health-care facility outbreaks. One new community outbreak at the Highridge/Singh group home in Kamloops, according to a joint statement from Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix. 

The eight hospitals in B.C. with active outbreaks are:
• 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;
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

Some other good news, when it comes to COVID-19 outbreaks at seniors' care homes, assisted-living facilities and retirement residences across the province, is that there are far fewer outbreaks today than there were little more than a month ago.

Back on January 6, for example, B.C. had 52 such outbreaks. Today, there are a total of 19 outbreaks at these homes.

Some recent outbreaks declared over include:
• Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• St. Michael's Centre Extended Care in Burnaby; and
• Suncreek Village in Surrey.

The only outbreaks at these homes in Vancouver Coastal Health are at Minoru Residence in Richmond, and Holy Family long-term care centre in Vancouver.

There are nine 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;
• Mountain View Manor in Ladner;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster;

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.

Vaccinations have slowed to a crawl following drug developers temporarily pausing shipments to Canada.

B.C. vaccinated only provided another 1,089 shots in arms in the past day, for a total of 155,585 since the first vaccinations took place December 16. Most of the new vaccine shots, or 691, were the recipients' second doses. So far, a total of 12,802 British Columbians have had two doses of vaccine.  

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