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COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. return to multi-month low

Six more British Columbians have died of COVID-19, raising the province's death toll to 1,269.
Dix and Henry
Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke to media about COVID-19 on Feb. 8

The steady decline in COVID-19-related hospitalizations across B.C. continued Feb. 10, after a one-day blip yesterday, when the number of those in hospital rose slightly. There are now 230 British Columbians with COVID-19 infections severe enough to be in hospital – fewer than at any time since Nov. 20, when there were 227 such cases.

The number of people in intensive care units of those hospitals fell by two overnight to 66, a number not seen since Jan. 20. There has not been fewer people in intensive care units since Nov. 26. 

The province hit a high point for hospitalizations on Jan. 6, when there were 381 people sick enough to be in hospitals. 

The good news about fewer hospitalizations is that they lead to fewer deaths. Another six people died overnight from COVID-19, bringing the province's death toll from the virus to 1,269. In much of December, it was rare for there to be a day when there was not a double-digit number of new COVID-19-related deaths. 

The number of people battling active infections of the virus rose by 88 overnight to 4,305. More than 92%, or 66,167 people, out of the 71,856 who have been infected with the virus in the province have recovered. Another 6,820 people are being monitored for symptoms because they have had known exposure to people identified as having COVID-19.

New cases continue to rack up. 

There were 469 new cases detected overnight. Here is the breakdown of where they are located:
• 100 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (21.3%);
• 243 people in Fraser Health (51.8%);
• 25 in Island Health (5.3%);
• 46 in Interior Health (9.8%);
• 53 in Northern Health (11.3%);
• two people who reside outside B.C.

Vaccinations have slowed considerably thanks to what is said to be a temporary slowdown in supplies provided by manufacturers to the federal government. There were 2,212 vaccine doses provided in the past day, with most – 1,514 – given as second doses. Overall, 157,797 doses have been given to 143,481 people, with 14,316 of those people having their needed second doses.

Premier John Horgan, earlier today, promised what he called "many, many, more vials [of vaccine], as we get into March, April and May."

At his 2 p.m. press conference, he also sounded optimistic that restrictions due to pubic health orders will be removed in the months ahead.

"As we get our immunization program up and running fully, when the federal government provides us with the vaccines that they're committed to, we're going to see changes in public health orders," Horgan said. "We're going to be seeing changes in our daily lives. Let's look forward to those days."

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix released a joint statement to say that the province has one new healthcare-facility outbreak, at Carrington Place Retirement Residence in Vernon. 

The outbreak at Minoru Residence in Richmond is now over.

The eight hospitals in B.C. with active outbreaks now include:
• 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.

There are active COVID-19 outbreaks at 19 seniors' care homes, assisted-living facilities and retirement residences across the province. This is down from as many as 52 such facilities in January.

Holy Family long-term care centre in Vancouver is the only seniors' home with an outbreak in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. 

The nine active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health are:
• 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; and
• 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 seven active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are at:
• Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops;
• Carrington Place Retirement Residence in Vernon;
• 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.

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