Province reports 1,428 new cases of COVID-19, eight further deaths over weekend

B.C. health officials are reporting 1,428 new cases of COVID-19 and eight further deaths due to the disease over the three-day weekend reporting period.

Of the new cases, 67 are in the Interior Health region, averaging 22 new cases per day.

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The province now has 4,560 active cases with 223 in hospital and 63 of those patients in critical care units.

Of B.C.'s total 77,263 cases, 71,313 have recovered while 1,335 have died. Another 7,768 people are under active public health monitoring due to exposure to confirmed cases.

Elsewhere in the province, there were 358 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 805 in Fraser Health, 99 in Vancouver Island Health and 99 in Northern Health.

The emergence of variant cases in B.C. continues to cause concern among health officials.

On Monday, the province reported the presence of the U.K. variant in seven Lower Mainland schools.

A total of 28 new variant cases were reported Monday, adding up to the province's new total of 108 cases of variants of concern.

Of the variant cases, 81 are of the U.K. strain (B.1.1.7), 20 are the South Africa strain (B.1.31) and two are the Nigerian strain (B.1.525).

There have been three variant cases in Interior Health, 58 in Fraser Health, 38 in Vancouver Coastal Health and four in Vancouver Island Health.

"It is important to know that while these COVID-19 variants of concern have shown to transmit more easily, the measures we take to stop the spread are exactly the same as what we have been doing since the start of the pandemic. This is the case whether at work, at school or at home," reads a joint statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

On the vaccine front, the province has now administered 218,726 doses of either the Pfizer of Moderna vaccine. Of those, 55,057 are the second of two required doses.

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