A basket of needles containing Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine waits to be administered to patients at a COVID-19 clinic in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

A basket of needles containing Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine waits to be administered to patients at a COVID-19 clinic in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

B.C.’s COVID-19 case count up to 1,068 on Tuesday

207 new variant cases, up to 328 people in hospital

B.C.’s daily COVID-19 case count rose back above 1,000 Tuesday, with continued spread of virus variants.

There are 328 people in hospital as of April 6, 96 of whom are in intensive care, and three more people have died in the past 24 hours.

Testing has identified another 207 new variant cases in B.C. in the past day, which public health experts are tracking because it may spread more quickly or result in serious illness in younger people.

“Numbers of young people in hospital are increasing, and numbers of young people in intensive care are increasing, and that is concerning,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday.

Social gatherings continue to be the main spreader of the coronavirus, Henry said, with people having a few friends over, then attending a different gathering, then going to work where infection ripples out from a single exposure.

“People may be staying in small numbers, but they are different small numbers each time,” Henry said.

B.C.’s COVID-19 daily cases topped 1,000 for the first time March 31 with 1,031 new confirmed tests, followed by 1,018 up to April 2, 1,072 up to April 3, 999 on Easter Sunday and 890 on Monday.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province’s initial batch of AstraZeneca vaccine has been administered through Lower Mainland pharmacies to people aged 55 to 65. Additional supplies are expected to arrive to extend the program to Kelowna, Victoria and other urban centres, with details to come on the websites of the province’s five health regions.

RELATED: Variants sending younger people to ICU, Dr. Tam says

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