In a written statement, the provincial health ministry said there are currently 5,640 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in British Columbia. A total of 149 people are hospitalized. Of these, 83 are in intensive care, up from 56 a week ago.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind peaks and declines in new cases, are up 23% from last Thursday, when 121 people were hospitalized with the disease.
The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 1,804 lives lost. There have been 162,693 confirmed cases to date.
The regional distribution of new cases on Thursday is as follows:
- 271 new cases in Interior Health, with a total of 2,014 active cases.
- 185 new cases at Fraser Health, with a total of 1,319 active cases.
- 142 new cases at Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 1,432 active cases in total.
- 64 new cases at Island Health, which has a total of 502 active cases.
- 62 new cases at Northern Health, which has 361 active cases in total.
- There are no new cases among people residing outside of Canada, a group of 12 active cases in total.
There are a total of 13 active outbreaks in assisted living and long-term care. Of these, one is in Vancouver Coastal Health, 11 is in Interior Health, and one is in the Fraser Health area. There is an acute care outbreak at Peace Arch Hospital in Fraser Health Region.
On Thursday, 83.7% of people aged 12 and over in British Columbia received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75.6% a second dose.
So far, 7,390,103 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3,504,402 second doses.
High vaccination rate after announcement of the card
On Wednesday, the province said there was a spike in new vaccine registrations after the announcement Monday that a vaccine card would soon be needed to access restaurants, concerts and other recreational spaces.
A total of 9,094 people in British Columbia received their first injection on Wednesday, the highest number since July 13.
Since Monday, the number of people signing up for the vaccination program or making appointments each day has jumped 201% from the previous week, according to a statement from the province.
In the past two days, more than two percent of all eligible unvaccinated adults in British Columbia received a first injection.
According to the government, the largest increases in enrollment are for people under 40. People in this age group made up a significant portion of cases at the start of the fourth wave in the province.
The province says that on Monday and Tuesday alone, 12,904 people under the age of 40 registered and 11,301 made an appointment, more than double the number last week.
Masks now mandatory throughout the province
Wednesday was also the first day of the reintroduced province-wide mask mandate, a week after the public health measure was introduced in the interior health region.
Masks will also be mandatory in schools for children in Grades 4 to 12, and the province will no longer move to Stage 4 of the reopening, as had been scheduled for September 7.
Vaccines, however, will not be mandatory in schools or universities.
British Columbians aged 12 and over who have not yet been immunized can register in three ways:
People can also be vaccinated at walk-in clinics across the province.