The number of COVID-19 cases British Columbia has reported since the start of the pandemic topped 70,000 on Monday, as officials recorded 1,236 new cases and 13 deaths over three days.
There were 428 cases from Friday to Saturday while 465 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, and 343 from Sunday to Monday. Five of the cases were epi-linked.
Of the new cases, 266 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 601 in the Fraser Health region, 86 in Island Health, 152 in Interior Health, and 131 in the Northern Health region.
The province has recorded fewer than 500 cases for 10 straight days and the seven-day rolling average of B.C.’s positivity rates is 6 per cent.
The 13 deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,259.
The number of people in hospital with the disease dropped by 19 to 234, the lowest total since Nov. 20. Sixty-nine of those patients are in intensive care.
There are 3,976 active cases in the province, a decrease of 10 per cent from Friday.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there have been 40 cases of COVID-19 variants in the province — 25 cases of the variant first identified in the U.K. and 15 cases of the variant first reported in South Africa.
A total of 154,496 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province, 12,111 of which are second doses.
On Friday, Henry extended COVID-19 health orders banning social gatherings and events in the province until further notice amid concerns about new variants of the coronavirus.
The restrictions were extended even as COVID-19 modelling data showed an improved case trendline.
“We need to protect the progress we have made,” Henry said. “We need to use this time to buy ourselves more time.”
— With files from Simon Little, Amy Judd and The Canadian Press