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COVID-19 update: B.C. reports 1,853 cases, 7 deaths over the weekend

Vancouver -

There were 1,853 cases of COVID-19 and seven related deaths recorded in B.C. over the weekend, health officials announced Monday.

The update, provided in a written statement from the Ministry of Health, pushed the province's rolling seven-day average for new infections to 683 per day, the highest it's been since May 7.

B.C.'s active caseload increased by 261 cases from Friday, and the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 17. There are now 5,918 active cases across the province and 176 patients in hospital, including 91 in intensive care.

Of the latest confirmed cases, 707 came from Interior Health and 531 came from Fraser Health. The two health authorities combined accounted for two-thirds of the infections recorded over the weekend – and more than half of the COVID-19 deaths.

Interior Health suffered three of the seven fatalities and Fraser Health suffered one.

The Ministry of Health also announced four new COVID-19 outbreaks in health-care facilities, at Chilliwack General Hospital, Fort St. John Hospital, Rose Woods Village and Sunset Lodge.

There are now 18 active outbreaks in B.C.'s health-care system, 12 of which are in the Interior Health region.

Meanwhile, B.C. administered another 44,392 shots of COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend, including 27,246 second doses. Just over 84 per cent of eligible residents age 12 and up have now received at least one dose of vaccine, and 76 per cent have received both doses.

As the number of outbreaks in care homes continues to grow, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the government is bracing for the possibility of administering booster shots to some vulnerable groups, including seniors who received their shots in December and early January.

"That's something we've been preparing for some time," Dix said at a news conference Monday afternoon. "What we've asked to do is to prepare (for) when public health is ready to say that such a shot would be necessary for a number of groups of people, so that we're prepared and organized to do that."

It's unclear how long protection from the COVID-19 vaccines will last. Dix also noted that B.C.'s first vaccine recipients had their second dose within a few weeks of their first, while there is growing evidence that spacing out the intervals between shots provides better protection.

In the meantime, numbers from the Ministry of Health continue to support officials' stance that vaccination continues to keep people much safer, even in the presence of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Between Aug. 20 and 26, unvaccinated British Columbians caught COVID-19 at a rate of 208.3 per 100,000 people, according to the province. That's compared to 111.1 per 100,000 for partially vaccinated people and 26.2 per 100,000 for fully vaccinated individuals.

Dix is expected to hold a live news conference again on Tuesday, when he and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will be presenting the latest COVID-19 modelling data for B.C.


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