British Columbia identified 1,475 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend as the provincial death toll from the disease surpassed 1,000.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry marked the grim milestone while delivering her pandemic update on Monday, offering condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19.
"These of course are our grandparents, our friends, our aunts, our uncles, our sons and daughters," Henry said. "To the families, care providers and communities across British Columbia, we know that this has been a most challenging time. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you all."
B.C. recorded 22 fatalities from Friday to Monday, putting the provincial total at 1,010. More than half of those have occurred since the beginning of December, as COVID-19 spread through dozens of care homes across the province.
Six more outbreaks at health-care facilities were declared over the weekend as well, at Avalon Gardens, Guildford Seniors Village, Hart House, KinVillage West Court and Suncreek Village.
Four other outbreaks ended, leaving 60 ongoing throughout the health-care system.
The latest infections were identified over the same period. Henry said 538 were confirmed from Friday to Saturday, followed by 507 from Saturday to Sunday and 430 from Sunday to Monday.
The province has now recorded 58,107 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
But the number of people recovering from the disease has been outpacing new cases for weeks, and that trend continued over the weekend. Some 2,336 people were cleared of COVID-19, helping push the number of active cases in B.C. down to 5,220 – the lowest it's been since Nov. 10.
Hospitalizations have been more stable, and remained at 358 on Monday. The number of patients in intensive care or critical care decreased slightly to 72, down from 75 on Friday.
Henry also provided an update on the province's immunization program, revealing that 59,902 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had been administered as of Sunday.
B.C. has received 71,200 doses so far – 50,700 from Pfizer and 20,500 from Moderna – and is expecting new shipments of both vaccines this week.
"We do expect to fully use up all of the Pfizer vaccine that we have in the province by today, and we are awaiting our supplies to come in the coming days," Henry said.
The provincial health officer also once again pleaded for patience from members of the public anxious to learn when they will be able to access the vaccine. The province has so far provided its plan for vaccinating seniors and health-care professionals throughout the first quarter of 2021, and no further, but has promised more information later this month.
"If you haven't seen your name on a list for after March, it's because we're still working on those details both here in British Columbia and across the country," Henry said, adding that officials will "absolutely be looking at our essential workers" and people who are at increased risk.