British Columbia

7-day average nearly doubles in 1 week as B.C. records 395 new cases of COVID-19

B.C. health officials announced 395 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths on Tuesday.

There are 71 people in hospital with the disease, 23 of whom are in intensive care

A man wearing a masks crosses the street in downtown Kelowna on Aug. 5, 2021. (Winston Szeto/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 395 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths on Tuesday.

The seven day rolling average of new cases has nearly doubled in one week from 196 on Aug. 3 to 383.

In a written statement, the provincial Ministry of Health said there are currently 3,284 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C., the most active cases since May 28.

 

A total of 71 people are in hospital, the highest number in a month. Of those 23 are in intensive care, up from 19 a week ago.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 34 per cent from last Tuesday, when 53 people were in hospital with the disease. 

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,777 out of 153,313 confirmed cases to date.

As of Tuesday, 82.1 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 70.6 per cent a second dose.

So far, 7,087,736 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3,274,116 second doses.

Cases surge 

B.C. has seen a 1,000 per cent increase in cases in the last five weeks. The Interior Health region currently accounts for nearly half of the new daily cases of COVID-19 in the province, but the numbers are rising in the rest of the province too.

The breakdown by health authority is as follows:

  • 100 new cases in Fraser Health   
         
    • Total active cases: 619
    •    
  • 61 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health   
         
    • Total active cases: 430
    •    
  • 187 new cases in Interior Health   
         
    • Total active cases: 1,893
    •    
  • 15 new cases in Northern Health   
         
    • Total active cases: 111
    •    
  • 31 new cases in Island Health   
         
    • Total active cases: 218
    •    
  • 1 new case of people who reside outside of Canada   
         
    • Total active cases: 13
    •    

Health officials are asking travellers to avoid the Central Okanagan, where restrictions were reintroduced last week amid a surge in cases. 

Interior Health says Kelowna General Hospital has seen a high number of COVID-19 patients due to the outbreak. 

According to an emergency room physician in Kelowna, almost all, if not most of the patients with COVID-19, were primarily young people between the ages of 20 and 40 who are not fully vaccinated from the virus.

 

"It was Thursday or Friday, I did an evening shift ... and I saw as many COVID-19 patients as I saw in the first and second wave combined in one night," Dr. Jeff Eppler said on the CBC's Daybreak South.

He said some elective surgeries have been rescheduled to manage capacity at the hospital. 

"This is something that is almost 95 per cent preventable with a simple vaccination," Eppler said.

"It's incredibly frustrating for me and for all of the front-line workers. It's putting everyone at risk ... and also taking  precious resources from people who need it."

Canada-U.S. border now open

Fully vaccinated Americans and permanent residents who currently live in the U.S. are now allowed to enter Canada for non-essential travel.

Travellers must be fully vaccinated with Canadian-approved vaccines, including AstraZeneca-Covisheld, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, at least 14 days prior to entry. They must also provide a COVID-19 negative test that's been taken in the past 72 hours. 

If the traveller meets the criteria, they no longer need to quarantine or be subject to a hotel stay or eight-day testing.

Canadian citizens wanting to travel to the U.S. from Canada still face a border closure until at least Aug. 21.

With files from Daybreak South

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