B.C. health officials are reporting 550 new cases and two deaths from COVID-19 since their last update Monday.
The number of confirmed cases in B.C. has reached 85,119 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,393.
Of the new cases, 133 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 319 were in Fraser Health, seven in Island Health, 36 in Interior Health, and 52 in Northern Health.
The seven new cases in the Island Health region drive up the total number of active cases in the health authority to 246, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Meanwhile, Island Health reported just 214 active cases, but the authority’s data often lags behind the BCCDC’s data due to a “difference in timing of reporting across laboratory and public health data sources.” Of those cases, 47 were reported on the South Island, 116 on central Vancouver Island and 51 on northern Vancouver Island.
Island Health also declared that an outbreak at the Glacier View Lodge long-term care home in Courtenay was over.
– 7 new cases in Island Health
– 2 new deaths
– 4,869 active cases
– 249 in hospital
– 182 cases that are variants of concern
— CHEK News (@CHEK_News) March 9, 2021
There are currently 4,869 active cases in the province, 249 people in hospital — 68 of whom are in intensive care — and 8,971 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.
A total of 78,770 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 343,381 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide.
Numbers provided Tuesday also showed a climb in the number of variant cases in the province.
There were 182 new COVID-19 cases that were variants of concern, for a total of 576 variant cases since they were first detected in the province. Of those total cases, 113 are active.
The overwhelming majority of variant cases has involved the B.1.1.7 most commonly linked to the U.K. (530 cases), 33 cases of the B.1.351 variant linked to South Africa and 13 cases of the P.1 variant linked to Brazil.
The news release update came with another reminder about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment booking lines.
While the dial-in numbers are now open for seniors over 90 and Indigenous people over 65, the province is reminding those outside of the age groups not to tie up phone lines until it’s their turn.
Island Health confirmed it booked nearly 2,400 vaccination appointments for eligible seniors on Monday, the third-most of any health authority in the province. A total of 14,949 appointments were booked across B.C. on Monday.
Provincial call centres received 1.7-million calls in the first two-and-a-half hours they were open, prompting some complaints. Telus has since apologized. Island Health has reminded eligible seniors in each age category that they have a full week to book their appointments.
Tuesday’s update also marked one year since the first death of a British Columbian due to COVID-19.
“Today, we pause and remember everyone who has died from this virus and offer our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones,” Health Minister Adrian Dix and Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a joint statement issued Tuesday.
“Through the loss and uncertainty that has come with this pandemic, we have seen incredible resilience, as people throughout our province have adapted to the challenges COVID-19 has brought.”