COVID-19 in B.C.: Outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital; sharp increase in cases; Omicron in all health regions

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      There's a new outbreak of COVID-19 in a Lower Mainland health-care facility.

      Vancouver Coastal Health has revealed that five patients have tested positive for the virus at Lions Gate Hospital.

      As a result, the 4 West area has been closed to new admissions and transfers. Visits to this area have been suspended and all group activities have been suspended.

      The only exception is for essential care or visits at the end of a person's life.

      The news about Lions Gate Hospital was released on the same day that B.C. registered a significant increase in COVID-19.

      The B.C. government reported 753 new cases—double the number of a week ago—bringing the number of active cases up to 3,878 across B.C.

      Of those, 184 are in hospital and 70 are in intensive care.

      Vancouver Coastal Health's 240 new cases were the highest among health regions, followed by 232 in Fraser Health, 137 in Island Health, 99 in Interior Health, and 45 in Northern Health.

      There were three more deaths over the previous 24 hours, bringing the provincewide total to 2,396 since March 2020.

      The B.C. government also reported that there have been 135 cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant of concern, with slightly more than half in Island Health. Fraser Health has had 38 cases of the Omicron variant, compared to 20 in Vancouver Coastal Health, five in Interior Health, and one in Northern Health.

      Today, Health Minister Adrian Dix and the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, might announce new restrictions on public gatherings.

      There's also new provincial modelling data available. Below, you can see some of the charts.