20 more COVID-19 deaths push B.C. death toll to 2,129

Deaths were seen in all provincial health regions

A ventilator monitor gives information about a COVID-19 patient | Getty Images / jackyenjoyphotography

B.C. on the weekend continued its pace of having about seven COVID-19 deaths per day.

The province recorded 20 new COVID-19 deaths in the past three days, raising its pandemic death toll to 2,129. There were 54 such deaths in the previous seven days.

The new deaths include:
• four in the Fraser Health region;
• three in the Vancouver Coastal Health region;
• six in the Interior Health region;
• four in the Northern Health region; and
• three in the Island Health region.

There are 366 COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals with COVID-19, which is one more than Friday. Of those, 149 are in intensive care units (ICUs), with that number being up seven, compared with Friday. 

The province's general rule for counting COVID-19 hospital patients is to limit the official number to those who are infectious, with that meaning those who have not yet gone 10 days after first feeling symptoms. Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said last week that this is not a hard and fast rule, and that some people could be included in that count up to 30 days after first feeling symptoms depending on the severity of their illness. 

She added that there are around 200 people in hospitals who are not included in the official count of COVID-19 patients but who are dealing with lingering health problems as a result of COVID-19. 

The vast majority of the 4,966 people known to be battling active COVID-19 infections have been told to self-isolate at home. 

Health officials detected 1,618 new COVID-19 infections in the past three days, with 613 coming on October 23, 529 identified on October 24 and 476 diagnosed in the past 24 hours. 

The new cases raise the number of those in B.C. known to have contracted the disease to 199,534.

Of those, nearly 97.8%, or 195,055 people, are deemed by the province to have recovered because they have gone more than 10 days after first feeling symptoms, and are therefore considered to be not infectious. 

Northern Health is by far the hardest hit region in B.C., in part because the vaccination rate is lower in that area.

Glacier Media's broke down the 1,618 new infections by health region, for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets).
• 3.9 in Fraser Health (699);
• 1.5 in Vancouver Coastal Health (190);
• 3.4 in Interior Health (254);
• 9.6 in Northern Health (289); and
• 2.2 in Island Health (186).

There were no new infections among people who normally do not reside in Canada.

The result by health region, for the 4,966 people fighting active infections, for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets) is:
• 11.3 in Fraser Health (2,030);
•  5 in Vancouver Coastal Health (619);
•  9 in Interior Health (665);
•  34.7 in Northern Health (1,042); and
•  6.5 in Island Health (551).

There are 59 active infections in the province in people who normally reside outside B.C. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix this afternoon tweeted data to show that 121 of 143 people in ICUs are not fully vaccinated. The official count for people in ICU is 149, however, so it is unclear what the vaccination status is for the other six people. 

Data from last week showed that, when adjusted for age, in the week up to October 20, there were 311.3 people newly infected for each 100,000 unvaccinated British Columbians. In that same time period, there were only 99.5 people newly infected for each 100,000 partially vaccinated British Columbians, and only 36.7 people newly infected for each 100,000 fully vaccinated British Columbians. 

To do a similar accounting, but for hospitalizations, the value of vaccines is even more clear.

When adjusted for age, in the two weeks up to October 20, there were 55.7 people newly hospitalized for each 100,000 unvaccinated British Columbians. In that same time period, there were only 11.5 people newly hospitalized for each 100,000 partially vaccinated British Columbians, and only 2.3 people newly hospitalized for each 100,000 fully vaccinated British Columbians. 

Dix has for many months been urging everyone eligible to get vaccinated because the vaccines offer strong protection against becoming infected, and having severe bouts of disease. 

Vaccinations in the general population have slowed as the vast majority of people are already vaccinated.

Health officials administered initial vaccine doses to 7,029 people in the past three days, as well as second doses of vaccine to 19,478 people. 

Across B.C., 89.6% of eligible people older than 12 have had at least one dose of vaccine, with 84.4% of eligible people having had two doses, according to the B.C. government.

Of the 4,152,455 B.C. residents who have received one dose of vaccine since mid-December, 2020, 93.6%, or 3,910,536, are fully vaccinated, with two doses. Health Minister Adrian Dix said October 19 that about 60,000 residents, who are either immunocompromised or who live in seniors' living facilities, have received three doses of vaccine. No newer updates on that number have been provided.

The B.C. government estimated in July that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so Glacier Media's calculation is that 80.7% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 76% of the province's total population has had two doses.

B.C. has five new healthcare facility outbreaks, at:
• Chilliwack General Hospital;
• Valleyhaven Retirement Community in Chilliwack;
• Harrison Pointe seniors' living in Langley;
• Norman Manor in Chilliwack; and
• Amica Edgemont Village in North Vancouver. 

The outbreak at Tofino General Hospital has been declared over. 

This leaves B.C. with 29 active outbreaks in health-care facilities. •