B.C. health officials announced 525 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and three new deaths as the number of active cases soared past 5,000 for the first time.
The province has recorded more than 500 new daily cases four of the last five days.
The three deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 284.
There are now 5,133 active COVID-19 cases in the province, more than twice the number the province recorded just 11 days ago, and 9,781 people in self-isolation.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose by nine to 142, the highest total since April 5. Of those, 46 are in intensive care, the most since April 22.
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The numbers come a day after B.C. health officials tried to clarify new restrictions that prohibit residents in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions from making social visits to other homes, halt indoor group fitness activities like yoga and spin classes, and “strongly discourage” non-essential travel to and from the region.
Health Minister Adrian Dix acknowledged that such broad directives can lead to confusion and advised anyone who finds themselves wondering whether to engage in a particular activity under the new rules to err on the side of caution and not do it.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said recent data about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is encouraging but said the distribution of a possible vaccine is “not going to be easy.”
— With files from The Canadian Press