British Columbia

Hospitalizations continue rising as B.C. records 671 new cases of COVID-19, 3 more deaths

B.C. health officials announced 671 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths on Friday.

There are 215 people in hospital with the disease, 118 of whom are in intensive care

Pedestrians in Vancouver on Aug. 10. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 671 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths on Friday, as hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care continue to rise.

In a written statement, the provincial Health Ministry said there are currently 5,872 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 215 people are in hospital, with 118 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 35 per cent from last Friday, when 159 people were in hospital with the disease. 

The number of patients in intensive care is up by about 40 per cent from 84 last week. 

The regional breakdown of new cases on Friday is as follows:

  • 230 new cases in Interior Health, which has 1,965 total active cases.
  • 230 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 1,689 total active cases.
  • 78 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 1,077 total active cases. 
  • 44 new cases in Island Health, which has 539 total active cases.
  • 89 new cases in Northern Health, which has 595 total active cases.
  • No new cases have been reported among people who reside outside of Canada, a group that has seven total active cases.

The province said 1,827 people have now died. There have been a total of 168,325 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. to date.

So far, 7,509,127 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. The province said 84.8 per cent of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose, while 77.1 per cent have received their second dose.

Fully vaccinated foreign travellers welcome next week

Canada plans to open the borders to fully vaccinated travellers from across the globe on Tuesday. The change would allow them to skip the 14-day quarantine requirement.

The vast majority of non-essential travellers from out of country have been barred from entering Canada since March 2020. 

This comes after the federal government began allowing fully vaccinated Americans to enter Canada and skip quarantine last month.

Restrictions in place for the North

A spike in cases in B.C.'s Northern Health region has prompted officials to reintroduce some restrictions there. 

As of Sept. 7, personal gatherings in homes will be limited to one additional family or five guests. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people, and organized outdoor events of more than 200 people will require a COVID-19 safety plan.

Health officials say outbreaks in the North began in August at some large industrial camps. As that slowed, communities such as Nechako, Fort St. James and Prince George saw higher transmission, primarily because of social events. 

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 Sophia Harris and Brittany Roffel

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