COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. below 300 for first time since September

Three more COVID-19 deaths raise provincial death toll to 2,316

A girl wears a face mask to protect herself from COVID-19 exposure | Photo: Getty Images / Catherine Delahaye

Serious COVID-19 infections needing hospitalization in B.C. have declined below 300 for the first time since mid-September – to 295.

Of those 112 patients are fighting for their lives in intensive care units (ICUs), which is up by three from yesterday.

Another three British Columbians lost their lives to the disease overnight, underscoring how dangerous contracting COVID-19 can be. Two of those fatalities were in the Fraser Health region, while the other was in the Interior Health region. This raises the province's pandemic death toll to 2,316.

Most new infections and hospitalizations are among the small slice of B.C.'s population that is unvaccinated. 

Between November 17 and November 23, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 58.9% of new cases, while between November 10 and November 23 those individuals were responsible for 68.5% of hospitalizations, according to government data. 

This is happening despite the vast majority of British Columbians being fully vaccinated. 

Of the 4,218,099 British Columbians who have received at least one dose of vaccine, 4,056,728, or 96.2, are fully vaccinated with two doses. 

Another 1,715 British Columbians received their first vaccination in the past day, while 3,640 others received needed second doses.

The province's math shows that this is 91% of the eligible population having at least one dose of vaccine, while 87.5% of the population has had two doses.

The B.C. government estimated in July that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so Glacier Media's calculation is that 81.9% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 78.8% of the province's total population has had two doses.

New infections jumped to 424 in the past day, after being below 400 for the past five government data updates. This comparatively high number helped new infections outpace recoveries, thereby pushing up the number of people actively battling the disease to 3,061 – up by 46 compared with yesterday. Testing in the past day, at 13,944, was a bit higher than average. 

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

Despite this, two new health-care facility outbreaks have been discovered: at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge, and St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. The outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops has been declared over, leaving the province with 10 active outbreaks at seniors' homes and health-care facilities.

The new cases include:
• 140 in Fraser Health;
• 62 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 93 in Interior Health;
• 66 in Northern Health; and
• 63 in Island Health.

The active cases include:
• 1,092 in Fraser Health;
• 512 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 608 in Interior Health;
• 414 in Northern Health;
• 429 in Island Health; and
• six people who normally live outside B.C. •