British Columbia

B.C. records 243 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily case count in 2 months

B.C. health officials announced 243 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths on Friday.

There are 47 people in hospital with the disease, 16 of whom are in intensive care

People are pictured at the Vancouver Convention Centre COVID-19 vaccine clinic. (Enzo Zanatta/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 243 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths on Friday, the highest daily case count since May 29. The seven day rolling average of new cases has now tripled within the last 10 days.

In a written statement, the B.C. Ministry of Health said there are currently 1,231 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C., more than double what they were a week ago.

A total of 47 people are in hospital, with 16 in intensive care, down from 17 a week ago.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by one from last Friday, when 46 people were in hospital with the disease. 

Of the new cases announced on Friday, 131, or slightly more than half, were in the Interior Health region.

There are two active outbreaks in the province. One is in long-term care at Holyrood Manor in Fraser Health. The other is also in long-term care at Nelson Jubilee Manor in the Interior Health region.

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,771 lives lost out of 149,889 confirmed cases to date.

As of Friday, 81.1 per cent of B.C. residents 12 and older had received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 64.9  percent a second dose.

So far, 3,758,385 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, while 3,008,360 second doses have been given out.

Since December 2020, the province has administered 6.8 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

Restrictions and vaccines

On Wednesday, health officials in B.C. declared a COVID-19 outbreak in the Central Okanagan after a rapid rise in cases in the region and reimposed a local mask mandate, as well as other public health measures.

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 will be mandatory in indoor public spaces for anyone over the age of 12. They are also being encouraged outdoors when people cannot physically distance.

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 an effort to increase vaccination rates in B.C., officials also announced a vaccination blitz called "Walk-In Wednesday" that will take place on Aug. 4.

Walk-in vaccine clinics across British Columbia are being allowed to provide COVID-19 vaccines to residents as the province shifts its immunization campaign into a higher gear.

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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