VICTORIA -- Health officials in British Columbia identified 96 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the provincial total to 8,304 since the pandemic began.

There are currently 1,465 active cases of the virus in the province, representing 522 fewer active cases since Monday.

Health officials announced the latest numbers in a written statement Tuesday and did not explain what accounted for the drastic drop in active cases.

Seven of the new cases identified are considered epi-linked cases, meaning a COVID-19 test was not administered though the patient exhibited symptoms and was in contact with known cases.

There were no new deaths from the virus recorded Tuesday, leaving B.C.'s COVID-19 death toll at 227 people.

There are now 61 people in hospital with the coronavirus, including 22 people in intensive care.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry acknowledged a new outbreak at Vancouver's St. Paul's Hospital had been discovered Tuesday. There are currently 16 active outbreaks at B.C. health-care facilities, including 12 assisted living centres and four acute-care facilities.

There are no new cases in the Island Health region, where there have been 203 cases of the virus recorded since the pandemic began.

Elsewhere in the province, there have been 2,984 cases recorded in the Vancouver Coastal health region and 4,254 cases recorded in the Fraser Health region. The Interior Health region has recorded 511 COVID-19 cases, and the Northern Health region has recorded 266 cases.

Approximately 86 people who live outside of Canada have also tested positive for the virus in B.C.

"The start of fall is the time for all of us to regroup and reset our COVID-19 routines, and ready ourselves for the colder, wetter months ahead," Henry said in the statement.

"This means spending less time with others outside of our household bubble right now," she added. "We need to push our COVID-19 curve back down and keep the virus low and slow, so we can manage the many challenges that will come with the respiratory season."

There are currently 3,314 people in B.C. under public health surveillance as a result of exposure to known COVID-19 cases.

Approximately 6,589 people who contracted the coronavirus are now considered fully recovered, according to the province.