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B.C. COVID-19 hospitalizations hit another five-month high

The 758 new infections in the past 24 hours is the highest single-day tally in almost a month.
Henry and Dix - october 2021
Health Minister Adrian Dix speaks as provincial health officer Bonnie Henry looks on

B.C. has recorded more than five-month-high levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations in each of the past three days. 

While one of the reasons for the spike earlier this week was a data correction, which provincial health officer Bonnie Henry revealed on October 26, the numbers have continued to rise. 

There are now 434 COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals, up 12 from yesterday, and up 44 from October 26. Of those, 155 are in intensive care units (ICUs).

The vast majority of the 4,961 people known to be actively battling COVID-19 infections have been told to self-isolate at home. 

Another 10 COVID-19 patients died in the past 24 hours, raising the province's pandemic death toll to 2,147.

The deaths included:
• four in Fraser Health;
• four in Interior Health; and
• two in Northern Health.

High numbers of new infections are fuelling these numbers, with 758 new cases detected in the past day – the highest daily number since September 29, almost one month ago.

Of the 204,330 people known to have contracted COVID-19 in B.C. since the first case was detected in January, 2020, 96.3%, or 196,858 people, are deemed by the province to have recovered. In most cases, that diagnosis is because the patients have gone more than 10 days after first feeling symptoms, and are therefore considered to be not infectious. 

Vaccinations in the general population continue to crawl along, as most British Columbians are already fully vaccinated. Despite this, the vast majority of people infected with COVID-19, and grappling with serious illnesses are from the small sliver of unvaccinated people. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix tweeted out some statistics that show 131, or 84.5%, of the 155 people in intensive care units are unvaccinated. Another four, or 2.6%, are partially vaccinated with one dose of vaccine, while 20 people, or 12.9%, are fully vaccinated.

Other statistics have for months similarly underscored that unvaccinated people are overwhelmingly the ones that are causing the province's fourth wave of the pandemic to be as vibrant as it is, and that getting vaccinated is a good way to protect against sickness and death.

Health officials administered initial vaccine doses to 2,964 British Columbians in the past day, as well as second doses of vaccine to 7,659 B.C. residents.

Across B.C., 89.8% of eligible people older than 12 have had at least one dose of vaccine, with 84.9% of eligible people having had two doses, according to the B.C. government.

Of the 4,160,780 B.C. residents who have received one dose of vaccine since mid-December, 2020, 94.5%, or 3,933,596, are considered fully vaccinated, with two doses. Earlier this week, the government said 90,425 British Columbians had received third doses of vaccine. No update to that number was provided today. 

The province earlier this week also set out its plan and timeline for providing booster, or third shots of vaccine to everyone in B.C. that wants one. 

The B.C. government estimated in July that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so Glacier Media's calculation is that 80.8% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 76.4% of the province's total population has had two doses.

Northern Health is by far the hardest hit region in B.C., in part because the vaccination rate is lower in that area.

Glacier Media broke down the 758 new infections by health region, for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets).
• 1.8 in Fraser Health (329);
• 0.6 in Vancouver Coastal Health (74);
• 1.5 in Interior Health (108);
• 4.4 in Northern Health (133); and
• 1.3 in Island Health (114).

There were no new infections among people who normally do not reside in Canada.

The result by health region, for the 4,961 people fighting active infections, for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets) is:
•  12 in Fraser Health (2,153);
•  5.4 in Vancouver Coastal Health (678);
•  8.9 in Interior Health (664);
•  27.4 in Northern Health (821); and
•  6.9 in Island Health (586).

There remain 59 active infections in the province in people who normally reside outside B.C. 

One new health-care facility outbreak was at Tabor Manor in Abbotsford. B.C. has 33 such outbreaks at health-care facilities and seniors' homes. •