British Columbia

Hospitalizations continue to rise as B.C. records 785 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 more deaths

On Wednesday, B.C. health officials announced 785 new cases of COVID-19 and 2 more deaths.

There are 199 people in hospital with the disease, 112 of whom are in intensive care

People are pictured in downtown Vancouver on April 6. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials have announced 785 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths.

In a statement Wednesday, the provincial Health Ministry said there are 5,873 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 199 people are in hospital, with 112 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by about 43 per cent from last week, when 139 people were in hospital with the disease.

The number of patients in intensive care is up by about 49 per cent from 75 a week ago.

So far, 7,472,114 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3,362,840 second doses.

During the period of Aug. 17-30, 83.4 per cent of hospitalizations were among unvaccinated people, while 80 per cent of cases from Aug. 24-30 were among people who did not have either dose of the vaccine.

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,818 out of 164,773 confirmed cases to date.

There are a total of 19 active outbreaks in the province including one new health-care facility outbreak at Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH.)

In a statement, VCH says outbreak precautions have been implemented and the affected unit has been closed to visitors, new admissions and transfers.

New modelling shows cases holding 

New epidemiological modelling released Tuesday showed the province does not expect daily case counts to drop significantly over the next month.

Officials instead believe the more likely scenario is a plateauing of cases and hospitalizations similar to what the province is currently seeing, or a slight increase.

The regional breakdown of new cases announced Wednesday is as follows:

  • 266 new cases in Interior Health, which has 2,299 active cases. 

  • 246 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 1,504 active cases.

  • 110 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 1,042 active cases.

  • 69 new cases in Island Health, which has 538 active cases.

  • 94 new cases in Northern Health, which has 483 active cases.

  • Zero new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, a group that has seven active cases.

"The virus can still take off quite easily if we have a lot of infectious contacts with people who aren't protected with vaccination," Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told CBC's The Early Edition guest host Michelle Eliot.

The numbers presented by Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix suggest the vaccination rate will need to increase by an average of seven per cent across all age groups in order to bring case counts and hospitalizations down before October.

'Pandemic of the unvaccinated'

Henry said Tuesday the province is now "in a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

"This has become a pandemic that is spreading rapidly among pockets of people who are unvaccinated," Henry said during a news conference.

"A modest increase in immunization can make a big difference."

Henry said vaccines are now being taken to people who haven't yet had access — including through pop-up clinics at schools and events.

"We know that young people have busy lives, there's lots going on right now, so we have to make it easier," Henry said.

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 Courtney Dickson, Brittany Roffel and The Early Edition


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