COVID-19 update: B.C. adds 584 cases, 9 deaths as hospitalizations continue to rise
B.C. health officials announced 584 new cases of COVID-19 and nine related deaths in their final pandemic update of the week Friday.
The number of people hospitalized with the disease ticked up again, to 436, and there are 156 infectious COVID-19 patients in intensive care.
A total of 4,982 cases of the coronavirus are considered active in B.C. There have been 204,914 infections and 2,156 deaths in the province since the pandemic began.
Friday's numbers bring the seven day rolling averages for daily cases and deaths to 575 and 6.71, respectively.
Ongoing high levels of COVID-19 transmission prompted provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to extend the province's indoor mask mandate on Friday.
Henry's order requiring everyone ages five and older to wear face masks in indoor public spaces had originally been scheduled to end on Oct. 31.
There have been no new outbreaks of COVID-19 in health-care facilities in the province, but the Ministry of Health announced a new outbreak at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre in Saanich.
The ministry did not say how many cases were associated with the prison outbreak. There are currently 33 ongoing outbreaks in health-care settings across the province.
Most people contracting COVID-19 and requiring hospitalization in B.C. are unvaccinated. Those who have not been vaccinated accounted for 65.1 per cent of cases over the last week and 73.8 per cent of hospitalizations over the last two, according to the ministry.
Health Minister Adrian Dix once again tweeted a breakdown of the vaccination status of people in intensive care in the province, saying 86 per cent of those in ICUs were not fully vaccinated.
Those who are unvaccinated make up an especially disproportionate number of cases and hospitalizations considering the fact that they represent roughly one-fifth of B.C.'s total population.
If vaccines did nothing, the unvaccinated would be expected to make up about one-fifth of cases and hospitalizations, in line with their proportion of the population.
As of Friday, 89.8 per cent of eligible B.C. residents ages 12 and older had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 85 per cent were fully vaccinated.
The largest share of new cases announced Friday was in the Fraser Health region, where 232 new infections were discovered.
On a per-capita basis, however, Northern Health continues to have the highest case rate. The region added 104 new cases on Friday, equivalent to 34.7 cases per 100,000 residents.
Fraser Health's much larger population means it added just 12 cases per 100,000.
Interior Health saw 85 new cases on Friday, Island Health 82 and Vancouver Coastal Health 81.
Of the new deaths reported Friday, three were in Fraser Health, two were in Vancouver Coastal Health, two were in Northern Health and two were in Island Health.