A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

COVID variants at 7 B.C. schools as weekend sees 1,428 new infections, 8 deaths

There are 4,560 active cases of COVID-19 in the province

B.C. recorded 1,428 new COVID-19 infections and eight more deaths over the weekend.

In a joint statement Monday (Feb. 22), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the following new cases over three days: 504 test-positives from Friday to Saturday, 475 from Saturday to Sunday and 449 more cases in the past 24 hours.

There are 4,560 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 7,768 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

Of the active cases, 223 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 63 of whom are in intensive care.

A further 71,313 people who tested positive have recovered.

ALSO READ: U.K variant of coronavirus detected at seven schools in Surrey, Delta

“As community transmission continues, we all need to continue to use all of the layers of protection, to continue to keep to our households only, and to avoid travel unless it is absolutely necessary,” the statement reads.

There are 28 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants of concern in our province, for a total of 101 cases. Two other cases are under investigation. Of the total number of cases, four are active and the remaining 97 have now recovered.

This includes 81 B.1.1.7 (UK), 20 B.1.31 (South Africa) and two B.1.525 (Nigeria) variants, the latter of which is under investigation.

Some of these cases are within seven B.C. schools – most of those in Surrey, sparking calls from the BC Teachers Federation to allow for districts to decide regional mask mandates instead of current province-wide protocols.

“When there is a high rate of COVID-19 within a community, a school district should be able to make regional or site-based enhancements to the safety protocols,” president Teri Mooring said in a statement.

On Monday, deputy provincial health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson and Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside fielded questions from reporters, saying there is no evidence of transmission of variants in schools.

Of the 35 teachers so far tested for the variants, all have come back negative, Whiteside said.

Meanwhile, the province is screening 70 per cent of test samples for variants – up from 15 per cent in January.

“Sometimes when we change our screening strategies, we can have an increase in detections,” Gustafson said.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Grant Johannesen, Colin Carmichael, Bob Zimmerman, Wade Sharp, Eric Lowe from Quesnel Search and Rescue were on hand to pick up a donated trailer from Steve Rutledge, owner of Chemo RV. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Donated trailer could unlock Quesnel Search and Rescue’s potential

The 20-foot long trailer from Chemo RV could pave the way for snowmobiles

Quesnel is under a dust advisory Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Cassidy Dankochik photo)
UPDATE: Dust advisory ends in Quesnel

Quesnel’s air quality health index is at 4, or moderate risk, as of Thursday

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

Quesnel hosted the BC Winter Games in 2000, and is hoping to host in 2024. (File photo)
Quesnel’s BC Winter Games hosting effort going into overtime

The BC Games Society has granted an extension so the city can complete the bid

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
B.C. dentists and bus drivers want newly-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

BC Dental Association says dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

President of the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) Teri Mooring is calling for teachers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by summer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Why it’s ‘urgent’ B.C. teachers get vaccinated from COVID-19 before summer

President Teri Mooring says not enough is being done to prevent virus transmission in schools

Most Read