B.C. adds 513 COVID-19 cases as officials announce mandatory vaccination for care home staff
B.C. health officials have announced 513 new cases of COVID-19 and one related death.
There are now 3,834 active cases of the coronavirus in the province. Of those, 81 people are hospitalized, 33 of them in intensive care.
The latest numbers came in a written statement from the Ministry of Health, just hours after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced they were making vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory for workers and volunteers in long-term care and assisted living homes in the province.
Interior Health announced three more outbreaks at such facilities on Thursday, saying two cases had been detected at The Village at Mill Creek, three at David Lloyd Jones long-term care home and four at Hawthorn Park.
All three facilities are located in Kelowna.
There are now at least 11 ongoing coronavirus outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living facilities in B.C. Seven of them are in the Interior Health region.
Thursday's new cases bring the rolling seven-day average for daily infections to 427.
More than half (53 per cent) of the infections reported Thursday were among residents of Interior Health, which has seen new restrictions implemented in the Kelowna area in recent weeks because of surging cases.
Caseloads have been growing elsewhere in B.C., as well, with 108 infections reported in Fraser Health on Thursday and 92 reported in Vancouver Coastal Health.
Island Health added 29 cases and Northern Health added 13.
Roughly 57 per cent of active cases in B.C. are located in Interior Health.
Health officials have blamed the surge in infections on unvaccinated people and the highly contagious Delta variant, which accounted for 95 per cent of new cases in the province in preliminary data from the final week of July and 99 per cent of cases in the Interior during that week.
The province does not report the vaccination status of people who test positive for COVID-19 on a daily basis. 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.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control notes in its report that the percentage of cases among vaccinated people "is expected to increase as more people get fully vaccinated and there are fewer unvaccinated people."
As of Thursday, 82.3 per cent of B.C. residents ages 12 and older had received a first vaccine dose, and 71.6 per cent of that age group had received their second shot.