368 test positive, 5 more deaths


Another 368 COVID-19 infections have been recorded in B.C., the province's health ministry announced Thursday.

The update, released in a written statement, also announced five more coronavirus-related deaths.

The largest share of the cases were in the Interior Health region, where 101 new infections were recorded.

Thursday's update brought B.C. back over 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, with 3,020. Earlier this week, the province's active caseload dropped below 3,000 for the first time in three months.

Though active cases were up, the rolling seven-day average for new cases dropped slightly on Thursday, to 345 from 353.

The latest numbers were released as Canada's federal and provincial governments brace for the impact of the concerning new Omicron variant, which has already appeared in several provinces, including B.C.

Experts have noted the variant has an alarmingly high number of mutations, though it remains unclear how they will affect transmissibility, severity of illness and possible vaccine resistance.

As of Thursday, 85 per cent of eligible people ages five and older in B.C. had received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 81.8 per cent had received their second dose.

- with files from CTV -