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COVID-19 cases keep rising in B.C., 689 new infections announced

Vancouver -

B.C.'s Ministry of Health announced 689 new cases of COVID-19 and two related deaths Thursday.

The latest infections bring the province to 5,982 active cases of the coronavirus. Of those, 121 people are battling the disease in hospital, 56 of whom are in intensive care units.

Since the pandemic began, there have been 158,256 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 1,784 deaths.

Thursday's numbers bring the province's seven-day rolling average for new cases up to 556.

The average has been rising for more than a month, as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads across the province.

B.C. health officials do not provide the vaccination status of infected individuals on a daily basis, but have maintained throughout the recent surge that the vast majority of cases are among people who are not fully vaccinated.

The most recent data B.C. has published on so-called "breakthrough cases" covers infections recorded between June 24 and July 24.

During that time period, 64 per cent of new infections were among those who had not been vaccinated or were less than three weeks removed from their first dose. A further 30 per cent of cases were among people who had received one dose and had sufficient time to develop some immunity in response to it.

Only six per cent of cases were among fully vaccinated people, meaning those who had received a second dose at least seven days before testing positive for COVID-19.

Nearly 83 per cent of B.C. residents ages 12 and older had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday, and 74 per cent had received a second dose.

More than half of the active cases of the coronavirus in B.C. are located in the Interior Health region, which has been the focal point of the province's recent increase in cases.

Interior Health added 278 new cases on Thursday, roughly 40 per cent of the new infections in the province for the day.

Fraser Health added 219 new cases in the latest update, while Vancouver Coastal Health added 123, Island Health added 42 and Northern Health added 27.

Thursday's update included one new outbreak in long-term care, at Heritage Village in Chilliwack. In a statement earlier in the day, Fraser Health said three staff members and one resident at the facility had tested positive. 

Another outbreak, at Discovery Harbour long-term care home on Vancouver Island, has been declared over, leaving B.C. with 11 active outbreaks of COVID-19 at long-term care and independent living facilities.
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