British Columbia

COVID-19 numbers begin to tick upwards as B.C. announces 76 new cases but no additional deaths

The B.C. government announced 76 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths on Tuesday.

There are 50 people in hospital with the disease, 12 of whom are in intensive care

People wait for a shot at a pop-up immunization clinic in East Vancouver on July 17. (CBC News)

The B.C. government announced 76 new cases of COVID-19 and no additional deaths on Tuesday.

The seven day rolling average of new cases has been slowly increasing over the last couple of weeks and is now at its highest point since June 23 and up about 50 per cent from its low two weeks ago.

When restrictions were first lifted at the beginning of the month, the provincial government warned cases could increase slightly but that COVID-19 vaccines were offering very good protection against the worst health outcomes.

In a written statement, the province said there are currently 692 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 50 people are in hospital, with 12 in intensive care, down from 14 a week ago.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by 42 per cent from last Tuesday, when 87 people were in hospital with the disease. 

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 1,763 lives lost out of 148,563 confirmed cases to date.

So far, 6,233,656 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 2,498,763 second doses.

Eighty per cent of eligible British Columbian's aged 12 and older have received their first dose of the vaccine and 54.4 per cent have received their second dose.

Vaccinate now

Anyone in B.C. who has not yet registered to be immunized is asked to do so now.

Registration can be done online through the "Get Vaccinated" portal, by calling 1-833-838-2323, or in person at any Service B.C. location.

Registering on B.C.'s Get Vaccinated immunization portal is the fastest way to get a notification when it's time to book the second dose appointment. You will get an invitation by text, email or phone call to book your second dose appointment, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

The province is aiming to have most people get their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks after their first.

Wildfire causes vaccine cancellations 

In a statement, Interior Health announced that COVID-19 vaccine clinics in both Oliver and Osoyoos have been cancelled for July 20 and 21 due to the Nk'Mip Creek wildfire.

According to the health authority, people with appointments are being notified of the cancellations and will be able to rebook for future days.

"Anyone who still wishes to receive their vaccination may walk in at the ongoing clinic at the Trade and Convention Centre in Penticton July 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on July 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.," the statement said. 

Easing restrictions

As of Monday, residents in B.C.'s long-term care facilities can visit with friends and family members with fewer restrictions.

According to the province, all visitors will need to be fully vaccinated and will be asked to provide proof of immunization when they arrive. Visitors will still need to wear a mask in common areas but not when they are in the resident's room.

Visitors no longer need to schedule visits in advance. There will also no longer be a limit on the number of visitors each resident can have. 

The federal government also laid out its plans for reopening the country to international visitors this week.

Starting Aug. 9 at 12:01 a.m. ET, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents living in that country will be able to visit Canada without having to quarantine for two weeks, Ottawa says.

The government said it plans to allow fully vaccinated travellers from all other countries to enter Canada from Sept. 7.

With files from Bridgette Watson

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