B.C. reaches 25-week high for COVID-19 hospitalizations
The number of infectious COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals has reached a 25-week high, according to Tuesday's update from the province.
There are now 445 hospitalized coronavirus patients across British Columbia – the most there have been since May 9 – with 137 of them in critical care.
The Ministry of Health also announced 406 new cases of COVID-19 and five related deaths, leaving the province's seven-day average for infections at 532 per day, and the seven-day average for fatalities at 7.86 per day.
Another 373 people have also recovered, putting the province's active caseload at 4,694, a slight increase from Monday.
The unvaccinated, who make up less than 20 per cent of B.C.'s overall population, continue to be over-represented in cases, hospitalizations and ICU visits, according to the ministry's update.
Over the last week, people without a single dose of vaccine made up 58.9 per cent of the province's 3,742 cases, while the fully vaccinated accounted for 35.6 per cent.
Likewise, over the past two weeks, the unvaccinated made up 66.9 per cent of the 381 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital, while the fully vaccinated accounted for 27.6 per cent.
A full 90 per cent of eligible British Columbians age 12 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 85.4 per cent have received two.
The government has been offering third doses and booster doses to a number of vulnerable groups, and has said they will be made available to all vaccine-eligible residents next year. On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that people who received two doses of AstraZeneca will be eligible early due to emerging data suggesting their protection could begin waning faster.
One of the latest coronavirus-related deaths was recorded in the Interior Health region, while the rest were in the Northern Health region, which has consistently seen the highest level of COVID-19 transmission across the province in recent weeks. B.C.'s latest cases were distributed as follows:
- Northern Health – 86 cases, a rate of 30.2 cases per 100,000 population
- Interior Health – 95 cases, a rate of 11.5 per 100,000 population
- Fraser Health – 133 cases, a rate of seven cases per 100,000 population
- Island Health – 51 cases, a rate of six per 100,000 population
- Vancouver Coastal Health – 41 cases, a rate of 3.4 per 100,000 population
The Ministry of Health also announced two new health-care facility outbreaks, at Royal Inland Hospital and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, bringing the provincial total to 41. Most of those are in long-term care homes and assisted living facilities.