British Columbia

7 day average triples in 12 days, as B.C. records 204 new cases of COVID-19

B.C. health officials announced 204 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths on Thursday. 

There are 51 people in hospital with the disease, 20 of whom are in intensive care

People line up outside the Killarney Community Centre in Vancouver to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. B.C. health officials have announced a vaccination blitz called 'Walk-In Wednesday' that will take place on Aug. 4. The province said 20,000 doses will be available at walk-in clinics, with no appointment necessary. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 204 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths on Thursday. 

It's the highest number of new cases in a single day since June 5, with the province's seven-day rolling average tripling within the last 12 days, from 44 to 131.

In a written statement, the province said there are currently 1,055 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C., the first time since June 26 the number of active cases has been over 1,000.

The regional breakdown is as follows:

  • 58 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 241 active cases.
  • 23 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 139 active cases.
  • 107 new cases in Interior Health, which has 600 active cases.
  • Two new cases in Northern Health, which has 19 active cases.
  • 14 new cases in Island Health, which has 51 active cases. 
  • No new cases of a person who typically resides outside of Canada; a group that has five active cases.

A total of 51 people are in hospital, with 20 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down slightly from last Thursday, when 53 people were in hospital with the disease. 

The number of patients in intensive care is up 33 per cent from 15 a week ago.

The provincial death toll from the disease is 1,771. There have been a total of 149,648 cases in the province.

So far, 81 per cent (3,753,057) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 64.1 per cent (2,971,793) have received their second dose.

Okanagan outbreak

On Wednesday, the province declared a COVID-19 outbreak in the Central Okanagan after a rapid rise in cases in the region.

More than half of B.C.'s daily and active COVID-19 cases are concentrated in the area, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

Under the new health order, masks are mandatory in indoor public spaces for anyone over the age of 12 and are also being encouraged outdoors when people cannot physically distance themselves.

Travel to and from the region, which includes Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country, is also being strongly discouraged unless individuals are fully immunized.

In the last week, a number of businesses in the Central Okanagan have been forced to close because of illness. Health officials say enforcement will be stepped up at establishments where three or more cases of COVID-19 have occurred.

Henry made reference Thursday to Alberta's new relaxed COVID-19 protocols which will start to come into effect over the next few weeks. The protocols are some of the most lenient in the nation. For example, starting Aug.16, people in Alberta who test positive for the virus will not be mandated to isolate at that time. 

"We're happy to have you come, fully vaccinated," Henry said to Albertans planning to visit B.C. "When you are here, we expect that everybody takes the measures we are continuing to take in British Columbia to protect people both from wildfires, from the smoke and from COVID-19."

In an effort to increase immunization rates in B.C., officials also announced a vaccination blitz called "Walk-In Wednesday" that will take place on Aug. 4. The province said 20,000 doses will be available at clinics, with no appointment necessary.

With files from Bridgette Watson and Brittany Roffel


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