COVID numbers jump significantly as B.C. records 717 new cases
There are 82 people in hospital with the disease, 39 of whom are in intensive care
British Columbia announced 717 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday — the highest daily case count since May 7 when the number was 722.
No additional deaths were announced on Friday.
In a written statement, the province said there are currently 4,277 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C., the most since May 22.
A total of 82 people are in hospital. Of those, 39 are in intensive care, up from 24 a week ago.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 58 per cent from last Friday, when 52 people were in hospital with the disease.
The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,779 lives lost out of 155,079 confirmed cases to date.
As of Friday, 82.4 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 72 per cent a second dose.
So far, 7.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3.3 million second doses.
Cases increase across all regions
More than half of the new daily COVID-19 cases in the province are in the Interior Health region. The one death recorded on Thursday was in the Interior, but other regions are also seeing an increase in new cases as well.
Interior Health says non-essential travel to and from the Central Okanagan should be avoided due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The breakdown of new cases by region is as follows:
- 376 new cases in Interior Health, which has 2,446 active cases.
- 140 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 821 active cases.
- 101 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 593 active cases.
- 40 new cases in Island Health, which has 245 active cases.
- 60 new cases in Northern Health, which has 163 active cases.
- No new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, a group that has 9 active cases.
Trans Mountain Pipeline COVID-19 cluster
Northern Health medical health officers say they are working closely with the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project after 16 employees and contractors in the Valemount area tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a statement from the health authority Friday, approximately 50 people in close contact with those infected are in self isolation. It said an investigation suggests that majority of the infections were not acquired on the project site.
Northern Health and Trans Mountain say they have been closely monitoring clusters of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of August and have been working together to reduce the risk of transmission among employees.
B.C. health officials announced Thursday that anyone working in long-term care and assisted living facilities in British Columbia will now be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 12.
Volunteers and personal care workers at those facilities will also be required to be fully vaccinated. In the meantime, unvaccinated staff will be tested for the virus regularly.
On Friday, the federal government said the vaccine will also be mandatory for federal employees and those working in some federally regulated industries, including airlines and railways.
The government says it also "expects" that other employers in federally regulated sectors — like banking, broadcasting and telecommunications — will require vaccinations for their employees.
The plan from Ottawa is to have that mandate in place by the end of October.
British Columbians aged 12 and over who have not yet been immunized can register in three ways:
- Online through the Get Vaccinated portal.
- By calling 1-833-838-2323. Translators are available in 140 languages.
- In person at any Service B.C. location.
People can also be immunized at walk-in clinics throughout the province.