B.C.s provincial health officer applauded people for staying home during the Super Bowl weekend and asked them to do the same for Family Day next Monday.
By avoiding travel now there will be much more to enjoy in the weeks ahead, said Dr. Bonnie Henry, who has said restrictions could relax by months end if case counts, outbreaks, and the spread of variants decrease.
Henry reported 1,236 new COVID-19 cases detected over the weekend, including 86 on Vancouver Island. Of those, 428 were detected from Friday to Saturday, 465 from Saturday to Sunday, and 343 from Sunday to Monday. Fraser Health had the highest number of new cases, with 601.
There are now 3,976 active cases in the province. Of those, 234 are in hospital, including 69 in intensive or critical care. Another 6,900 people are being monitored for the virus.
Henry noted the number of people infected with variant strains of COVID-19 in the province has increased to 40 25 of the U.K. variant, of which four cases are in Island Health, and 15 cases of the South African variant which has been detected only in people in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health authorities.
Public health officials fear that variants will take off and become the dominant strain and extend the pandemic. Henry said that is why she extended pandemic restrictions on all gatherings and events indefinitely on Friday to buy time to decrease transmission and increase immunizations.
Of the people who had contracted the variant of the COVID-19 virus, three cases are active and none to date have ended up in hospital, said Henry.
One main concern is that while almost all of the U.K. variant cases are travel-related, there remain to cases of the South African variant for which the source isnt known.
Over the weekend there were another 13 COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total to date in B.C. to 1,259.
There are now 22 active outbreaks in long-term care with 786 residents and 441 staff members infected and nine outbreaks in acute care facilities.
Henry also updated the number of people vaccinated in the province to 154,496, including 12,111 who have received second doses.