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B.C. COVID-19 update: 549 new cases, 1 death as rolling average continues to drop

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B.C. health officials announced 549 new cases of COVID-19 and just one related death in their final pandemic update of the week Friday.

The latest numbers, released in a written statement from the Ministry of Health, bring B.C.'s rolling seven-day average for daily cases to 479, down slightly from Thursday.

This continues the recent trend in declining cases. On Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presented modelling data showing transmission of the novel coronavirus is flat or declining across B.C. 

As of Friday, there are 4,483 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. That total includes 441 people who are hospitalized with the disease, 129 of them in intensive care.

NEW OUTBREAKS DECLARED

Three new outbreaks have been declared since the province's last update on Thursday, one of them in an independent-living home in Fraser Health and the other two in schools in the Interior.

The new health-care outbreak is at Bethshan Gardens in Surrey. The two schools now dealing with outbreaks are at King's Christian School in Salmon Arm and Vernon Christian School in Vernon.

An outbreak at West Shore Laylum assisted-living facility in Surrey has ended. B.C. currently has 37 active outbreaks of COVID-19 in its health-care system.

'A FRAGILE BALANCE'

On Thursday, Henry described B.C.'s slow decline in cases as "a fragile balance" attributable to the province's high vaccination rates and the additional public health measures put in place to slow the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus.

As of Friday, 90.2 per cent of eligible B.C. residents ages 12 and older had received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; 85.7 per cent of that age group had received both shots.

Henry said the province's "stubbornly high rates of hospitalization" have been health officials' "biggest challenge" over the last few months.

Data she presented Thursday showed that an unvaccinated person is 50 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than a fully vaccinated person of the same age.

The unvaccinated are also 46 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than people of their age who are fully vaccinated, according to the province.

GEOGRAPHY OF THE LATEST CASES

The new infections announced Friday were spread throughout the province, with the largest number seen in Fraser Health, which added 184 new cases.

Interior Health saw 110 new infections, Northern Health saw 102, Vancouver Coastal Health saw 78 and Island Health saw 73. There were also two new cases among people who normally reside outside Canada.

On a per-capita basis, Northern Health continues to have the highest rate of new cases in the province, with 34 infections per 100,000 residents.

Other health authorities have much larger populations, meaning smaller portions of their population have been testing positive each day, even though some of them have recorded a larger number of cases than Northern Health.

The numbers of new cases added per-capita in the other four health authorities on Friday follow.

  • Interior Health: 13.5 cases per 100,000
  • Fraser Health: 9.5 cases per 100,000
  • Island Health: 8.5 cases per 100,000
  • Vancouver Coastal Health: 6.3 cases per 100,000 

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