COVID-19 in B.C.: Data confirms unvaccinated at most risk; over 600 new cases and over 6,000 active cases; and more

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      Today's new case count remained high. 

      Hospitalized cases continued to increase in number, heading towards 200.

      Active cases continued to climb in number in all regions except for one—Vancouver Coastal Health—where active cases have been decreasing for a few days now.

      Modelling update

      Today (August 31), B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix presented a modelling update.

      Although the data didn’t provide any unexpected insights, it did reaffirm and provide further evidence of what has been previously said—that the vast majority of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths remain among unvaccinated people.

      In looking over the geographic distribution of cases, Henry observed that there isn’t a place in the province that hasn’t been affected by COVID-19 cases, the Lower Mainland has borne the brunt of the cases, and some hotspots across the province remain.

      Among the places with the highest average daily rate of cases per 100,000 population in each region (from August 20 to 26) are:

      • Interior Health: Golden, Grand Forks, Creston, Nelson, and Enderby, but Henry also noted that cases in Central Okanagan has levelled off and are decreasing;
      • Northern Health: Nisga’a, Nechako—Henry said there are low immunization numbers in these areas, and she added that there are continuing high rates in Peace River, Fort Nelson, and Prince George (where she said there are concerning increases);
      • Fraser Health: Mission;
      • Vancouver Coastal Health: Vancouver Centre North (Henry said particularly areas around the Downtown Eastside);
      • Island Health: Alberni-Clayoquot.

      When looking at the overall curve, Henry acknowledged that case numbers have been increasing steadily since mid-July.

      But she pointed out that what isn’t increasing at the same rate as in previous waves is the number of hospitalizations. She did say that in regions where they are rising, such as Interior and Northern Health, these increased hospitalizations are affecting the ability to provide healthcare.

      She said that about 50 percent of the cases over the past month have been in Interior Health, which has about 15 percent of the province’s population.  

      When it comes to vaccinations among cases, from July 30 to August 26, the vast majority of cases were among the unvaccinated: 70 percent of cases, 81 percent of hospitalizations, and 52 percent of deaths.

      Information from today’s modelling update can be downloaded from the lefthand column.  

      B.C. update: August 31

      Today, the B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 655 new COVID-19 cases (including 15 epi-linked cases).

      Currently, there are 6,045 active cases—an increase of 127 cases since yesterday.

      The new and active cases include:

      • 242 new cases in Interior Health, with 2,495 total active cases (71 more cases than yesterday);
      • 186 new cases in Fraser Health, with 1,418 total active cases (47 more cases);
      • 99 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 1,026 total active cases (50 fewer cases);
      • 68 new cases in Island Health, with 620 total active cases (33 more cases);
      • 60 new cases in Northern Health, with 479 total active cases (26 more cases);
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with seven total active cases (same number as yesterday).

      An increase of 11 patients since yesterday means 187 individuals are now in hospitals and 103 of those patients are in intensive care units (12 more than yesterday).

      Sadly, two new deaths (both in Island Health) have been reported. B.C. has now recorded an overall total number of 1,816 COVID-19-related fatalities during the pandemic.

      With 522 recoveries since yesterday, 157,941 people who tested positive have now recovered.

      During the pandemic B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 166,068 cases.

      B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix
      Province of British Columbia


      As previously noted, Dix said that over the past week, there has been a notable increase in vaccinations (following the announcement of the B.C. Vaccine Card program).

      In particular, he said that there have been increases particularly among those up to 30 years old (Dix said that vaccinations among those in this age range have increased twice the provincial average) and that the “highest uptake” among regions has been in Interior and Northern Health, which previously had low rates of vaccinations.  

      From August 16 to 29, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 80.2 percent of cases and 88.7 percent of hospitalizations.

      Out of a total of 4,698 cases from August 23 to 29, there were:

      • 3,285 unvaccinated people (69.9 percent);
      • 485 partially vaccinated people (10.3 percent);
      • 928 fully vaccinated people (19.8 percent).

      Out of a total of 186 hospitalized cases from August 16 to 29, there were:

      • 150 unvaccinated people (80.6 percent);
      • 15 partially vaccinated people (8.1 percent);
      • 21 fully vaccinated (11.3 percent).

      For cases per 100,000 population from August 23 to 29:

      • 212.1 unvaccinated people;
      • 124.9 partially vaccinated people;
      • 28.7 fully vaccinated people.

      For cases hospitalized per 100,000 population from August 16 to 29:

      • 9.6 unvaccinated people;
      • 3.5 partially vaccinated;
      • 0.7 fully vaccinated people.

      Since December, B.C. has administered 7,463,858 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

      As of today, 84.3 percent (3,908,860) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 76.5 percent (3,547,751) received their second dose.

      In addition, 85 percent (3,676,744) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 77.6 percent (3,355,134) received their second dose.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      Interior Health has declared a new healthcare facility outbreak at Kamloops Seniors Village.

      Vancouver Coastal Health has imposed restrictions at the Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver, but has not yet declared an outbreak.

      As of today, there are 19 active outbreaks, including:

      • longterm care: Heritage Village (Fraser Health); Brock Fahrni (Vancouver Coastal Health); Village at Mill Creek, Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre, Brookhaven Care Centre, Spring Valley Care Centre, and Kamloops Seniors Village (Interior Health); and Sunset Lodge (Island Health);
      • acute care: Peace Arch Hospital and Chilliwack General Hospital (Fraser Health); and Fort St. John Hospital (Northern Health);
      • assisted or independent living: Nicola Meadows, Hawthorn Park, David Lloyd Jones, Sun Pointe Village, Hardy View Lodge, and Rose Woods Village (Interior Health).

      None of the five regional health authorities listed any new community outbreaks, business closures, or public exposure events.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.