(Files by Catherine Garrett)

It was an ominous day in the province when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BC Health Officials announced 717 new infections in BC today (Tuesday), as well as 11 deaths.

The death toll in the province is now up to 310.

There were also a record number of new infections in Northern Heath with 21.

The region is now up to 539 with 64 of those active.

Interior Health saw 18 new cases for a total of 1,106.

193 are considered active.

“Just as we put on our jackets to keep us warm in the rain and snow, so too are our COVID-19 safety layers there to protect all of us. Washing your hands, keeping a safe distance and always wearing a mask in places where you are around people you don’t know – these things make a difference,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“We have seen an increase in new cases on Vancouver Island, in the Interior and in the North, many of which are connected to travel to and from the Lower Mainland. That is why is it important that we stay local and travel less right now.”

6,589 cases are considered active, with 198 people in hospital, up 17, and 63 in intensive care, an increase of six.

Meanwhile, there has been one new health-care facility outbreak at Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens in the Island Health region.

Currently, 10,960 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of an exposure.

The recovery rate is at 69.6 percent.

New cases by region:

Vancouver Coastal Health – 177

Fraser Health – 484

Island Health – 16

Interior Health – 18

Northern Health – 21

Outside of Canada – 1