COVID-19 in B.C.: 368 test positive, 5 more deaths announced
Another 368 COVID-19 infections have been recorded in B.C., the province's health ministry announced Thursday.
The update, released in a written statement, also announced five more coronavirus-related deaths.
Thursday's update brought B.C. back over 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, with 3,020. Earlier this week, the province's active caseload dropped below 3,000 for the first time in three months.
Though active cases were up, the rolling seven-day average for new cases dropped slightly on Thursday, to 345 from 353.
There are 284 infectious COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals, including 97 who are in intensive care units.
The latest numbers were released as Canada's federal and provincial governments brace for the impact of the concerning new Omicron variant, which has already appeared in several provinces, including B.C.
Experts have noted the variant has an alarmingly high number of mutations, though it remains unclear how they will affect transmissibility, severity of illness and possible vaccine resistance.
As of Thursday, 85 per cent of eligible people ages five and older in B.C. had received at least a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 81.8 per cent had received their second dose.
The vast majority of those who have been vaccinated are over age 12. The province just started administering vaccines to those between the ages of five and 11 on Monday.
Among those 12 and older, 91.2 per cent of B.C. residents have received at least one dose, and 87.9 per cent have received two shots. Approximately 10 per cent - some 452,593 people - have received a third dose.
Vaccinated people continue to be significantly less likely than unvaccinated people to contract COVID-19 and to be hospitalized in B.C.
Those who have not received any vaccine doses account for less than 20 per cent of the total population in B.C., but made up more than half (54 per cent) of new cases recorded from Nov. 24 to 30.
Likewise, unvaccinated people accounted for 64.5 per cent of new hospitalizations between Nov. 17 and 30, according to the ministry.
The largest share of Thursday's cases was found in the Interior Health region, where 101 new infections were recorded.
Fraser Health added 90 cases, Island Health 88, Vancouver Coastal Health 48 and Northern Health 40.
Three of the five deaths recorded Thursday were in Fraser Health, while the other two were in Northern Health.
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