New COVID-19 cases in B.C. surge above 200

Province's number of active infections returns above 1,000 for first time since June 25

People head to a Vancouver pharmacy for their vaccine shot | Photo: Rob Kruyt

Outbreaks in B.C.'s Interior Health region have helped the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province rise to 204 – the first time above 200 since June 5

Higher new case counts in recent days have also been pushing up the number of people actively battling COVID-19 infections. That number has increased to 1,055 – the first time above 1,000 since June 25 – with most being in the Interior Health region.

Here is a breakdown of where the 204 new COVID-19 infections in B.C. were discovered, by health region:
• 58 in Fraser Health (28.4%);
• 23 in Vancouver Coastal Health (11.3%);
• 107 in Interior Health (52.5%);
• two in Northern Health (1%);
• 14 in Island Health (6.9%); and
• none in people who normally resides outside B.C. 

The rising number of new cases prompted the government yesterday to mandate mask wearing at inside public spaces in the Central Okanagan, and take other measures, such as decreasing the waiting time between first and second doses of vaccine for those in that region. 

These moves come as the province's vaccination campaign steadily vaccinates more people.

The pace of vaccinations has slowed somewhat, however. Health officials in the past day jabbed arms in 5,666 previously unvaccinated people, as well as 40,665 people as needed second doses of vaccine. Not that long ago, provincial officials regularly provided more than 60,000 doses of vaccine in a day.

Government data released today pins the number of British Columbians who have received at least one jab of vaccine at 3,753,057, with 2,971,793 people having had two jabs. It estimates that this translates into 81% of the eligible population being vaccinated at least once, and 64.1% of the eligible population being vaccinated twice.

The B.C. government's most recent estimate of the province's total population is 5,147,712, so that means that about 72.9% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 57.7% of the province's total population has had two doses.

More than 98.1%, or 146,810, of the 149,648 people known to have contracted COVID-19 in B.C. are considered by the province to have recovered because they have gone 10 days after first feeling symptoms, and are therefore thought to not be infectious.

Most of the 1,055 people known to be battling active infections have been told to self-isolate, although 51 are in hospitals, with 20 of those in intensive care units. There were no new COVID-19-related deaths in the past day, so the province's death toll from the pandemic stays at 1,771.

Here is a breakdown of where the active COVID-19 infections in B.C. are, by health region:
• 241 in Fraser Health (22.8%);
• 139 in Vancouver Coastal Health (13.2%);
• 600 in Interior Health (56.9%);
• 19 in Northern Health (1.8%);
• 51 in Island Health (4.8%); and
• five people who normally resides outside B.C. (0.5%).

The province continues to have two COVID-19 outbreaks at seniors' homes: Holyrood Manor in Maple Ridge, and Nelson Jubilee Manor in Nelson.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom