B.C. added 580 new cases of COVID-19 and nine related deaths on Thursday, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.
The province has now seen a total of 195,766 coronavirus cases and 2,042 deaths since the pandemic began.
The BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 5,348 active coronavirus cases as of Thursday. Of those, 378 people were hospitalized, including 153 who were in critical care and still infectious.
A total of 89 per cent of eligible residents who are 12 and older have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the ministry said, and 82.9 per cent have received two doses.
Thursday’s numbers came as provincial health officials announced new “circuit-breaker” restrictions aimed at slowing the transmission of COVID-19 in Northern Health.
Among the new restrictions – which apply only to local health areas in the province’s northeast – are the closure of bars and nightclubs, restrictions on alcohol sales at restaurants and a ban on in-person religious services.
There are also new restrictions on gatherings, including a ban on all private gatherings involving unvaccinated people.
According to the ministry, there were 129 new infections detected in Northern Health on Thursday, the second-most of any health authority.
The largest number of new cases was found in Fraser Health, which added 246 to its total on Thursday.
Notably, however, Fraser Health has more than six times the population of Northern Health, meaning it’s adding far fewer cases on a per-capita basis.
Elsewhere, Interior Health added 104 cases Thursday, Vancouver Coastal Health added 52 and Island Health added 48.
There have been no new COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care homes, according to the ministry, however 19 earlier outbreaks remain active.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.