British Columbia

Upward trend continues as B.C. records 553 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 more death

British Columbia announced 553 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Wednesday.

There are 107 people in hospital with the disease, 53 of whom are in intensive care

Diners are pictured eating at a restaurant in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 553 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Wednesday.

In a written statement, the province said there are currently 5,580 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C., the most active cases since May 13.

A total of 107 people are in hospital, with 53 in intensive care, up from 29 a week ago.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 49 per cent from last Wednesday, when 72 people were in hospital with the disease.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 1,782 lives lost out of 155,682 confirmed cases to date.

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • 230 new cases in Interior Health, which has 3,203 total active cases.
  • 152 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 990 total active cases.
  • 97 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 811 total active cases. 
  • 38 new cases in Island Health, which has 337 total active cases.
  • 36 new cases in Northern Health, which has 230 total active cases.
  • There are no new cases among people who reside outside of Canada, a group which has nine total active cases.

There is one new assisted living outbreak at Nicola Meadows in Interior Health, for a total of 11 active outbreaks in assisted living and long-term care. Of those, eight are in Interior Health, two in Fraser Health and one in the Island Health region.

As of Wednesday, 82.8 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 73.8 per cent a second dose.

So far, 7,265,222 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3,419,832 second doses.

Vaccination gaps, increasing cases

In all 87 local health areas (LHAs) in the province, at least 70 per cent of people over the age of 50 have received at least one dose of vaccine. 

But for people between the ages of 18 and 49, the numbers vary wildly. 

Overall, eight of the 10 LHAs showing the biggest difference in the fully vaccinated status between the 18-49 and 50-plus age groups are in Interior Health, the epicentre of B.C.'s fourth wave. 

Interior Health says non-essential travel to and from the Central Okanagan should be avoided due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The majority of cases are in the Interior Health region, but the rate of new infections is slowing down.

Tuesday marked the first time since July 25 that the rolling average of new cases in the Interior was lower than the rolling average for the rest of B.C.

To help reduce outbreaks, health officials announced on Aug. 12 that a new public health order will make vaccination mandatory for those working in long-term care and assisted living facilities. They will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12. In the meantime, unvaccinated staff will be tested regularly for the virus.

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 Justin McElroy