Active COVID-19 cases in B.C. fall to 15-week low

Hospitalizations fell by 21 since Friday, to 337 – the lowest number since early October

A woman shops for groceries while wearing a mask to protect herself from COVID-19 | Photo: Getty Images / Ismail Eren Yalçin

COVID-19 recoveries in B.C. have been outpacing new infections, causing the number of active infections across the province to fall to a 15-week low of 3,137.

New infections have been below 400 in each of the past three days, including 390 new cases on November 20, 332 infections on November 21 and 330 cases in the past 24 hours. 

Since Friday, 10 additional people are known to have died from the disease in the province, raising B.C.'s pandemic death toll to 2,303.

The new deaths include:
• two in Fraser Health;
• two in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• four in Northern Health; and
• two in Island Health.

Hospitalizations fell by 21 in the past three days, to 337 – the lowest number since October 4. Of those, 115 are in intensive care units (ICUs).

Of the 215,688 people known to have contracted COVID-19 in the province, 210,070 are thought to have recovered. 

The B.C. government's usually considers COVID-19 patients to have recovered if they have gone 10 days following first feeling symptoms, as they are therefore deemed to no longer be infectious. Some patients, however, continue to have health problems for months after their recoveries.

Another 3,720 British Columbians received their first vaccination in the past three days, while 12,606 others received needed second doses. That raises the number of people in B.C. with at least one dose of vaccine to 4,213,371, with 4,047,568 of those being fully vaccinated with two doses. 

The province's math shows that this is 90.9% of the eligible population having at least one dose of vaccine, while 87.3% of the population has had two doses. Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry has said that as the percentage of the population in B.C. rises, the risk of infection for everyone declines. She and Health Minister Adrian Dix are set to address the province tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the state of the pandemic.

The B.C. government estimated in July that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so Glacier Media's calculation is that 81.8% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 78.6% of the province's total population has had two doses.

The relatively small number of unvaccinated people continue to be the ones hardest hit by the pandemic. 

Between November 5 and November 18, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 69.9% of hospitalizations, according to government data. 

Older people also endure more serious bouts of COVID-19, which is why the government has required those who work in seniors' homes to be fully vaccinated.

Some good news is that nine outbreaks at health-care facilities have been declared over, leaving active outbreaks at 12 such facilities.

The 1,052 new cases detected in the past three days include:
• 345 in Fraser Health;
• 125 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 227 in Interior Health;
• 196 in Northern Health; and
• 159 in Island Health.

The 3,137 active cases include:
• 1,148 in Fraser Health;
• 436 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 589 in Interior Health;
• 528 in Northern Health; and
• 436 in Island Health. •