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Eight more British Columbians die from COVID-19, pushing province's death toll to 1,218

The number of those in intensive care units with COVID-19 rose by three overnight, to 82 – the highest total since December 22.
Bonnie in Blue
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry updates media on COVID-19's spread in B.C.

The steady drone of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths continued February 2, with some good news being that vaccinations have continued despite hiccups in deliveries from drug makers.

Eight more British Columbians have lost their lives to the virus that spawned a global pandemic, raising the province's death toll to 1,218. This new death tally is in line with recent days, as it was announced yesterday that 21 people had died in the previous three days. 

There was also little change in the number of serious COVID-19 cases. Five additional people are in hospital today, compared with yesterday, for a total of 294, which is in line with numbers during the past week. The number of those in intensive care units, however, rose by three to 82 – the highest total since December 22.

The 429 new COVID-19 infections discovered overnight pushed the total number of cases, since the virus was first detected in the province a little more than a year ago, to 68,366. The vast majority of those are self-isolating at home. 

More than 89.4% of those infected, or 61,129 individuals, are considered recovered. 

Given that there are now 4,542 people known to be fighting active infections province-wide, this leaves 1,477 infected people unaccounted for. Provincial officials have told Glacier Media that the most likely explanation is that they left the province without alerting authorities.

Health officials are monitoring 7,080 people for symptoms because they are known to have been in contact with infected individuals. 

Vaccinations continue despite drug makers Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna delivering fewer doses than anticipated. There were 1,560 vaccinations completed in the past day, including 606 second doses. In total, 135,355 British Columbians have had a single shot of a vaccine, while 5,097 people have had their required second dose. 

The breakdown of where the 429 new cases are located is as follows:
• 112 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (26.1%);
• 202 people in Fraser Health (47.1%);
• 27 in Island Health (6.3%);
• 51 in Interior Health (11.9%); and
• 35 in Northern Health (8.2%).

One new healthcare facility outbreak is at CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey, while the outbreak at Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna is now considered to be over.

"We're seeing an encouraging trend in our COVID-19 curve," provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. "The efforts you are making, combined with the immunization of our long-term care residents and workers, are making a difference."

There remain eight B.C. hospitals identified as having active COVID-19 outbreaks. They are:
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Mount St. Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in Nanaimo;
• Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster;
• Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops;
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey; and
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

COVID-19 outbreaks remain at 24 seniors' care homes, assisted-living facilities and retirement residences across the province. 

The three active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health are at:
• Hilltop House in Squamish,
• Minoru Residence in Richmond; and
• Holy Family long-term care centre in Vancouver.

There are 12 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;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz;
• Hilton Villa Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster;
• St. Michael's Centre Extended Care in Burnaby; and
• Suncreek Village in Surrey.

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.

The only outbreak at a seniors' facility in Island Health is at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom