British Columbia

B.C. records 322 new cases of COVID-19 and 9 more deaths

B.C. health officials announced 322 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths on Wednesday.

There are 318 people in hospital with the disease, 109 of whom are in intensive care

People are pictured with umbrellas and face masks to protect them against the elements and COVID-19 while walking through rain in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 322 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths on Wednesday.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 3,015 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 318 people are in hospital, with 109 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by 16 per cent from last Wednesday, when 379 people were in hospital with the disease.

The number of patients in intensive care is the same as a week ago.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,313 lives lost out of 216,334 confirmed cases to date.

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • 100 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 1,095 total active cases.
  • 86 new cases in Interior Health, which has 606 total active cases.
  • 50 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 472 total active cases. 
  • 44 new cases in Northern Health, which has 415 total active cases.
  • 42 new cases in Island Health, which has 421 total active cases.
  • There are no new cases among people who reside outside of Canada, a group which has six total active cases.

There  are a total of 11 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term and acute care facilities. The province has declared outbreaks over at Village by the Station, an assisted living facility in Penticton, and Sun Pointe Village, a facility in Kelowna.

An outbreak was declared at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver on Tuesday, according to a spokesperson from Providence Health Care. Ten patients have tested positive in the outbreak, and two general acute care units are closed to further admissions and visitors.

Acute care outbreaks include:

  • Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
  • Ridge Meadows Hospital.
  • Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops
  • St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver

As of Wednesday, 91 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 87.4 per cent a second dose.

From Nov. 16 to 22, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 58.1 per cent of cases and from Nov. 9, they accounted for 69.2 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

So far, 8.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including four million second doses.

Bookings for children under 12 now open

British Columbia will start vaccinating children aged five to 11 against COVID-19 next week.

Officials said Tuesday invitations to book appointments will start going out Monday to families with children who have been registered through the province's portal, with a number of same-day appointments available.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the province will have enough vaccine for every child. He is urging families to register their children for a vaccination appointment.

An information sign is displayed as a child arrives with her parent to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children five to 11 years old at London Middle School in Wheeling, Ill. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. British Columbia officials say vaccinations for children five to 11 years old will start the week of Nov. 29. (Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press)

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the vaccination of children is important to protect them from COVID-19, especially during a fourth wave that has continued to affect children.

"I don't think most parents need convincing," said Henry, speaking  Wednesday morning on CBC's The Early Edition.

The province said roughly 91,000 children have already been registered for their vaccine and are on the list to be contacted by text or email to book an appointment for their shots.

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