COVID-19 in B.C.: Over 500 new cases; update on Okanagan outbreak, with over 2,000 active cases in Interior; and more

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      Case numbers have been steadily climbing over the past few weeks, but we may also be starting to see some of the impact of the B.C. Day long weekend.

      B.C.’s new case count has hit yet another new high for recent weeks, with over 500 new COVID-19 cases today.

      In addition, active and hospitalized cases continued to increase and case numbers increased in all five health regions.

      There’s also one new healthcare outbreak.

      Post-secondary institutions

      At a news conference about B.C. wildfires and high temperatures, B.C. provincial health officer was asked a few questions about COVID-19.

      One of the questions was about whether or not there will be a mandatory mask mandate for post-secondary schools when the new school year begins in September.

      Henry said that there is a provincial stakeholder committee that is addressing and reviewing these issues, with more information to come in the coming week.

      She said they are currently working with post-secondary institutions for providing vaccinations for international students entering the country, “depending on what vaccines they may or may not have received in their country of origin”.

      Okanagan outbreak

      Interior Health provided an update today on the outbreak in the Central Okanagan that was declared on July 28.

      Since July 1, a total of 1,690 people have tested positive in the region, and case numbers continue to rise.

      Interior Health stated that most of the cases are among individuals under 40 years old, but COVId-19 exposures are also now occurring in healthcare facilities, businesses, restaurants, and social settings.

      “Over 95 percent of COVID-19 cases related to this outbreak are among people not fully immunized and the majority are 40 years or younger,” Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown stated in a news release.

      Restrictions will remain in place for the region until further notice. Non-essential travel to the Central Okanagan region is discouraged.

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry
      Province of British Columbia

      B.C. update: August 11

      Today, B.C. is reporting 536 new COVID-19 cases (including four epi-linked cases).

      Currently, there are 3,585 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., which is an increase of 301 cases since yesterday.

      As of today, 72 individuals are in hospital (one more than yesterday), and 29 of those patients are in intensive care units (six more than yesterday).

      The new and active cases include:

      • 258 new cases in Interior Health, with 2,045 total active cases (152 more cases than yesterday);
      • 135 new cases in Fraser Health, with 699 total active cases (80 more cases);
      • 105 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 493 total active cases (63 more cases);
      • 26 new cases in Island Health, with 222 total active cases (four more cases);
      • 12 new cases in Northern Health, with 116 total active cases (five more cases);
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with 10 total active cases (three fewer cases than yesterday);

      Unfortunately, there has been one new death reported (in Interior Health). The overall total number of fatalities is now at 1,778 people who have died of COVID-19-related deaths.

      With 231 recoveries since yesterday, an overall total of 148,446 people who tested positive have now recovered.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 153,849 COVID-19 cases.

      Vaccinations

      Due to the heat wave forecast for this week, Island Health is once again relocating all immunization appointments scheduled from August 12 to 14 at the Eagle Ridge Arena clinic to the Victoria Conference Centre.

      Since immunizations began in the province in December, B.C. has administered 7,114,250 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

      As of today, 82.2 percent (3,809,806) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 71.1 percent (3,296,603) have received their second dose.

      In addition, 83 percent (3,592,053) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 72.9 percent (3,151,609) have received their second dose.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      Fraser Health has declared a healthcare outbreak at the Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock, where one resident has tested positive.

      Accordingly, there are now eight active outbreaks in longterm care facilities:

      • Fraser Health: Holyrood Manor, Kin Village West Court, and Evergreen Baptist Care Society;
      • Interior Health: Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre, and Brookhaven Care Centre;
      • Island Health: Discovery Harbour.
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.

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