British Columbia

COVID-19 numbers surge to 3 month high as B.C. announces 536 new cases and 1 more death

B.C. health officials announced 536 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Wednesday, the highest number of new cases in nearly three months.

There are 72 people in hospital with the disease, 29 of whom are in intensive care

A woman wears a facemask in Vancouver on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 536 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Wednesday, the highest number of new cases in nearly three months.

The single death was in the Interior Health region.

In a written statement, the provincial Ministry of Health said there are currently 3,585 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C, the most since May 25.

A total of 72 people are in hospital. Of those, 29 are in intensive care, up from 23 a week ago.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 31 per cent from last Wednesday, when 55 people were in hospital with the disease. The numbers represent the highest number of new hospitalizations since July 9.

 

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,778 lives lost out of 153,849 confirmed cases to date.

As of Wednesday, 82.2 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 71.1 per cent a second dose.

So far, more than seven million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including nearly 3.3 million second doses.

The 4th wave

B.C. has seen a 1,000 per cent increase in cases in the last five weeks. 

The Interior Health region currently accounts for about 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 of new cases by region is as follows:

  • 258 new cases in Interior Health, which has 2,045 active cases. 
  • 135 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 699 active cases.
  • 105 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 493 active cases.
  • 26 new cases in Island Health, which has 222 active cases.
  • 12 new cases in Northern Health, which has 116 active cases.
  • No new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, a group that has 10 active cases.

 

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

Karen Bloemink, interim VP of pandemic response at Interior Health, said the health authority has had to reschedule some elective surgeries due to the COVID-19 spike in the region.

"We're doing this to make sure that we do have continuing capacity to provide services for [residents] who need health- care services," she said on the CBC's Daybreak South.

The latest available federal public health data shows roughly 90 per cent of all COVID-19 cases reported in Canada since the start of the country's vaccination program in mid-December have been among unvaccinated individuals.

Interior Health president Sue Brown said that the majority of cases in the Central Okanagan outbreak were among those 40 or younger, with over 95 per cent of people affected not fully immunized.

 

The province reduced the interval between the first and second doses of the vaccine from seven weeks to 28 days on Monday.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that some vaccination centres, especially in the Interior, would be moved to air-conditioned spaces this week in light of yet another heat wave affecting B.C.

British Columbians aged 12 and over who have not yet been immunized can register in three ways:

People can also be immunized at walk-in clinics throughout the province.

With files from Lauren Pelley and CBC Daybreak South

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