Health officials in British Columbia are scheduled to give a written COVID-19 update on Friday afternoon.
The announcement follows 536 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the province on Thursday, bringing the provincially recorded total to 59,608.
There are currently 4,624 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Additionally, there are 362 individuals currently hospitalized with the virus, 74 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
A combined 7,303 people are under active public health monitoring due to identified exposure to known cases, and there have been seven new virus-related deaths. To date, there have been 1,038 deaths in BC.
A total of 52,604 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have now recovered and 69,746 have received a COVID-19 vaccine to date.
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On Thursday afternoon, health officials in British Columbia confirmed the first case of the South African COVID-19 variant in the province, as well as additional cases of the UK variant.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the individual who contracted the South African variant was “not known to be travelling or to have a connection with a traveller.”
Health officials are currently investigating how the person may have caught the virus.
“It is, of course, concerning that we don’t know where this arose,” Henry said during a live update. “However, at the moment, it does not appear to have spread within the community beyond the person we identified.”
Henry also added that four cases of the UK variant have been detected in BC. Three of the individuals are linked to one specific traveller, while the other is related to an additional traveller.
The UK variant is not believed to have spread beyond those four individuals.