COVID-19 in B.C.: Immunization update; over 400 new cases and over 2,000 active cases; and more

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      For another consecutive day, the new case count hit yet another new high for recent weeks, and active cases continued to increase in all five regional health authorities in B.C.

      Today (August 5), B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry held a news conference to provide an update on vaccinations after the Walk-in Wednesday event held yesterday (August 4).

      Dix said 33,277 shots were administered across B.C. during the event, which he called a “significant number, up from previous days”.

      Of those vaccinations, 16,505 (50 percent) of those were walk-ins, and 6,130 (38 percent) of those were first doses, which was the highest total of first doses administered in one day since July 10, according to the B.C. Health Ministry.

      Henry said that 95 percent of people who are being infected are those who are unimmunized or who haven’t received their second dose. She added that all of the people with severe illnesses who are currently in intensive care units in Interior Health are unvaccinated people.

      Although Henry has said that case numbers would increase as things reopened, she pointed out that cases among vulnerable populations have decreased.

      “What we’re not seeing…the widespread transmission to people who are at risk that we’ve seen in the past and that is because we have such high rates of immunization,” she said.

      In addition, she pointed out that they are not seeing increased rates among young people and children, particularly those under the age of 12.

      As jurisdictions around the world develop or implement protocols about vaccination-status requirements for entry to various sectors, Henry said that B.C. is considering all options. However, she also said that B.C. won’t deny people access to essential services or education based on their vaccination status.

      Nonetheless, Dix said that although no one is “obliged” to get vaccinated, those who don’t get immunized will face consequences.

      Vaccination data and events

      Since the provincial immunization program began in December 2020, B.C. has administered 6,965,062 doses of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines.

      As of today, 81.7 percent (3,785,216) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose and 68.4 percent (3,172,287) have received their second dose.

      In addition, 82.6 percent (3,571,104) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 70.6 percent (3,053,283) have received their second dose.

      Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is holding a pop-up clinic at the grass area beside the tennis courts at Kitsilano Beach (1305 Arbutus Street) in Vancouver today until 6 p.m.

      This week, VCH will hold drop-in vaccine events at:

      • the ICBC Claim Centre (255 Lloyd Avenue) in North Vancouver, featuring live music by the North Shore Celtic Ensemble, from 9 a.m to 7 p.m. on August 6;
      • the Richmond Night Market (8351 River Road) in Richmond from 6 pm to 11 pm on August 6;
      • Killarney Community Centre (6260 Killarney Street) in Vancouver from 2 to 8 p.m. on August 7, featuring live music.

      For information about other drop-in clinics elsewhere in the Lower Mainland and across the province, visit the Vax for B.C. website.

      Henry emphasized that anyone who has concerns about vaccinations can visit clinics to ask questions.

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

      B.C. update: August 5

      Today, the B.C. Health Ministry is reporting 402 new COVID-19 cases.

      Currently, there are 2,066 active cases, which is an increase of 302 cases since yesterday.

      As of today, there are 58 individuals in hospitals (an increase of three people since yesterday), and 21 of those patients are in intensive care units (two more people since yesterday).

      The new and active cases include:

      • 234 new cases in Interior Health, with 1,121 total active cases (an increase of 176 cases since yesterday);
      • 82 new cases in Fraser Health, with 449 total active cases (an increase of 61 cases);
      • 41 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, with 290 total active cases (an increase of 32 cases);
      • 25 new cases in Island Health, with 127 total active cases (an increase of 18 cases);
      • 20 new cases in Northern Health, with 67 total active cases (an increase of 15 cases);
      • no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada, with 12 total active cases (same number as yesterday).

      The good news is that no new deaths have been reported. The overall total number of fatalities remains at 1,772 people who have died of COVID-19-related reasons during the pandemic.

      With 101 recoveries since yesterday, a cumulative total of 147,510 people who tested positive have now recovered.

      During the pandemic, B.C. has reported a cumulative total of 151,375 COVID-19 cases in the province.

      Outbreaks and exposures

      The B.C. Health Ministry stated that there are five active healthcare outbreaks in longterm care facilities: Holyrood Manor in Fraser Health, and four in Interior Health: Nelson Jubilee Manor, Kootenay Street Village, Cottonwoods Care Centre, and Brookhaven Care Centre.

      In addition, Island Health declared an outbreak at Discovery Harbour longterm care home in Campbell River, where three staff members have tested positive.

      None of the five regional health authorities declared any new community outbreaks, and didn’t list any new public exposure events or business closures.

      Sobeys listed one employee, who last worked on July 30 at its Pharmacy located at 1599 2nd Avenue in Trail, has tested positive.

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