B.C. sees 1,068 new cases of COVID-19 over past 24 hours, reports 207 new variant cases

Another 1,068 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in B.C. over the past 24 hours, continuing the trend id elevated case counts around 1,000 new cases per day.

In addition, the province has three more dead due to the virus and the death toll stands at 1,489.

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Hospitalization numbers are also edging upwards, now at 328, with 96 of those patients requiring intensive care.

Of the new cases, 106 were in the Interior Health region.

Elsewhere, there were 352 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 492 in Fraser Health, 73 in Vancouver Island Health, 43 in Northern Health and two in people who live outside Canada.

On Tuesday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also went over variants of concern, noting B.C.'s new total case count of 3,766.

The province added 207 cases to that total on Tuesday. Henry said 266 variant of concern cases remain active with 63 patients in hospital.

To date, the province has seen 2,838 cases of the U.K. variant, 51 cases of the South Africa variant and 877 of the Brazil (P.1) variant.

Lag time slows down the identification of variant cases. Henry said more than 90 per cent of positive cases are currently being screened, first by something called a SNIP test and then through whole genome sequencing to confirm.

Henry said recent transmission of COVID-19 has been spreading through social gatherings, particularly among young people, "because many young people live, work and socialize in the same networks," she said.

Henry also warned against unnecessary travel, which is also leading to further transmission.

On the vaccine front, the province has now administered 912,056 doses of vaccine, which includes 87,474 second doses.

Beginning Tuesday, online registration is available for vaccine bookings. For more information, go online to getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca.

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