COVID-19 update: B.C. adds 395 cases as hospitalizations climb
British Columbia has recorded another 395 cases of COVID-19, health officials said Tuesday after acknowledging that climbing hospitalization numbers have delayed some elective surgeries.
The latest infections, announced in a written statement from the Ministry of Health, increased the province's seven-day average for new cases to 383 per day, the highest it's been since May 24.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 also climbed to 71, an increase of three from Monday and up 24 from the previous Monday. That includes 23 patients in intensive care.
About 47 per cent of the new cases came from B.C.'s Interior Health region, which has been experiencing a localized surge in transmission that prompted officials to re-impose a mask mandate and several other restrictions in the Central Okanagan.
Earlier on Tuesday, Interior Health confirmed that the high number of COVID-19 cases at Kelowna General Hospital has forced some elective surgeries to be delayed.
"Some elective surgeries have been rescheduled to manage capacity at the hospital. Affected patients are being notified directly to reschedule their procedure," the health authority said in a statement.
Interior Health said the majority of hospitalized coronavirus patients are "young adults who are not fully immunized."
B.C. decreased the minimum interval between vaccine doses to 28 days this week as part of a push to get more residents vaccinated as quickly as possible to curb the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Vaccine clinics across the province are also allowing people to get a first dose without an appointment.
As of Tuesday, B.C. has administered 7,087,736 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines, including enough first shots for 82.1 per cent of the eligible population age 12 and older.
Nearly 71 per cent of the eligible population has received both shots.
Officials had no coronavirus-related deaths to announce on Tuesday, leaving the province's death toll at 1,777. Five deaths were recorded over the weekend, matching the number suffered across B.C. in the preceding 14 days combined.