British Columbia health officials on Tuesday announced 677 new cases of COVID-19 and one related death, as the number of coronavirus patients in hospital rose again.
The update, delivered in a written statement from the Department of Health, pushed the province’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 infections to 724, the highest since May 4.
Hospitalizations jumped to 288 – a jump of 10 from Monday – with 140 people treated in intensive care. The ministry did not provide an updated breakdown of the immunization status of patients on Tuesday, but reported on Monday that 87% of the 139 patients then in intensive care were not vaccinated.
Provincial health officer Dr.Bonnie Henry and BC Minister of Health Adrian Dix have sounded the alarm bells in recent weeks about the pressure COVID-19 patients are putting on hospitals as the government battles the fourth wave of the pandemic.
Dix also revealed this week that a baby and a school-aged child are in intensive care.
“The infant in intensive care came out in good health and this is good news,” the minister confirmed on Tuesday afternoon. “What these ICU numbers show by age group is pretty straightforward: that people who are not vaccinated right now are at risk of serious health effects from COVID-19. “
Officials cited the continued increase in hospitalizations and the number of cases in British Columbia as requiring their latest measures to help control transmission this fall, including the mask’s renewed mandate, the proof of vaccination system and the Newly announced vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
As of Tuesday, 86% of eligible residents aged 12 and over have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 78.5 have received both doses.
This week, officials announced that approximately 15,000 BC residents considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable could receive a third shot of the vaccine to boost their immune systems, and a similar shot could eventually be offered. to some elderly people.
There has been a disturbing resurgence of COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes over the summer, primarily in the interior health region, which is struggling with high transmission rates , especially among pockets of unvaccinated residents.
The Department of Health on Tuesday announced another outbreak at the Westminster House long-term care home in Surrey, where three staff members have tested positive for the disease. The outbreak at Brock Fahrni Nursing Home has also been declared over, leaving 24 active outbreaks in the province’s health system.
There have been 175,819 identified cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia since the start of the pandemic, and 167,416 people who tested positive have recovered. The death toll in the province stands at 1,866.
The latest infections have pushed the number of active cases in the province to 6,165, an increase of more than 300 from Monday, more than half of those coming from the Interior Health and Fraser Health regions.