Skip to main content

B.C. COVID-19 update: 14 more deaths announced, highest single-day total in weeks

COVID-19 vaccine being distributed to health-care workers in B.C. on Dec. 22, 2020. (Province of BC/Flickr) COVID-19 vaccine being distributed to health-care workers in B.C. on Dec. 22, 2020. (Province of BC/Flickr)

B.C. saw more than a dozen COVID-19-related deaths added to its total on Wednesday, according to the provincial Ministry of Health.

The 14 deaths announced Wednesday came alongside another decline in hospitalizations. The number of test-positive patients in B.C. hospitals is now 405, down from 419 on Tuesday.

That total includes people who were admitted to hospital for other reasons and tested positive for COVID-19 incidentally.

A total of 58 coronavirus patients in B.C. are currently in intensive care units, down from 63 on Tuesday.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 2,929 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in B.C. Wednesday's death toll is the highest the province has reported in a single day in nearly a month, since Feb. 11.

Six of the latest deaths were reported in Fraser Health, another five were in Island Health, and the remaining three were in Vancouver Coastal Health, according to the ministry.

Many of the deaths reported in B.C. since the pandemic began have been associated with COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care and assisted-living facilities.

The ministry announced one new such outbreak - at Luther Court in Saanich - on Wednesday. There are currently 15 active outbreaks in B.C. health-care facilities.

The province does not release the vaccination status of those whose deaths are deemed COVID-19-related on a daily basis. Such information is available on a monthly basis on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard

Between Feb. 5 and March 7, there were 187 COVID-19 deaths reported in B.C., according to the dashboard. Of those, 91 (or 49 per cent of the total) were among people who had received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. There were 49 deaths (26 per cent of the total) among unvaccinated people and 44 deaths (24 per cent of the total) among those who have received two doses of vaccine. The remaining three deaths were among those who had received only one shot.

The vast majority of people whose deaths were attributed to COVID-19 during the period were 70 years old or older.

The unvaccinated were overrepresented among the death toll, as they make up just 14 per cent of the provincial population, but accounted for 26 per cent of the deaths.

The unvaccinated also died younger, on average, than those with multiple doses of vaccine.

According to the BCCDC data, people under age 70 made up 39 per cent of the deaths among unvaccinated people from Feb. 5 to March 7.

For those with two doses of vaccine, the under-70 age group accounted for 25 per cent of deaths, and for those with three shots, the under-70 group accounted for just 11 per cent of deaths.

Adjusting for age differences across the vaccinated and unvaccinated populations, the BCCDC data shows 14 deaths per 100,000 unvaccinated people between Feb. 5 and March 4, compared to 6.6 per 100,000 among those with two shots and 2.5 per 100,000 among those with three shots. 

As of Wednesday, 90.7 per cent of eligible people ages five and older in B.C. have received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 86.6 per cent have received a second dose.

Among adults, 58.2 per cent have received a booster dose.

Wednesday's update also included 274 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, but that number is not considered an accurate representation of the spread of the coronavirus in the province, since most otherwise-healthy people do not qualify for testing.

Still, caseloads have been declining alongside hospitalizations and outbreaks in B.C. for months now, prompting health officials to lift several COVID-19-related restrictions in February.

B.C.'s mask mandate for indoor public spaces and its vaccine passport program have remained in place, however, even as other provinces have lifted similar measures. Health officials are expected to address B.C.'s remaining restrictions at a news conference on Thursday. Top Stories

Tragedy in real time: The Armenian exodus from Nagorno-Karabakh

For the past five days, vehicles laden with refugees have poured into Armenia, fleeing from the crumbling enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in neighbouring Azerbaijan. In a special report for, journalist Neil Hauer recounts what it's like on the ground in Armenia.

Stay Connected