B.C. has now seen 35,422 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) after health officials announced 694 new cases Thursday.
Four of the new cases were epi-linked.
In a daily briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported that 114 of the new COVID-19 cases are located in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 465 in the Fraser Health region, 10 in the Island Health region, 82 in the Interior Health region, and 23 in the Northern Health region. There have been no new cases in people who reside outside of Canada.
There have been 12 additional deaths from COVID-19, for a total of 481 fatalities in British Columbia.
Of the total COVID-19 cases, 325 individuals are hospitalized, 80 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation. As well, 10,849 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.
There are currently 9,103 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., while 24,928 people who tested positive have since recovered.
There have been three new health-care facility outbreaks confirmed in the past 24 hours, at the Bailey House long-term care home, the Gateway Lodge and the University Hospital of Northern B.C., Henry said.
That brings the province's total number of active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living facilities to 56, and eight in acute care.
Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities’ websites.
The province is making progress on its COVID-19 immunization strategy, Henry added during Thursday's briefing, with an emergency response team now in place. That team, led by Dr. Ross Brown, has been busy preparing and figuring out how best to facilitate the vaccine's eventual delivery to British Columbians.
Next week, Brown will join Henry and B.C. health minister Adrian Dix to provide a detailed update about the province's plans, "and how we're going to move forward here in British Columbia to make sure that people can receive immunization in the most efficient and effective way possible," Henry said.
While the vaccine "will be available in the coming weeks," for health officials, it cannot arrive quickly enough.
"Any day you're reporting deaths is a difficult day, and today we're reporting 12," emphasized Dix during Thursday's briefing. "That tells you how difficult a day this is."