5 more die of COVID-19, as B.C. announces 774 new cases

·4 min read
Café customers in downtown Vancouver on Sept. 7. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC News - image credit)
Café customers in downtown Vancouver on Sept. 7. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC News - image credit)

British Columbia health officials announced 774 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths on Thursday.

In a written statement, the province said there are currently 5,594 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 262 people are in hospital, with 130 in intensive care.

COVID-19 in British Columbia by the numbers

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by about 285 per cent from a month ago on Aug. 9, when 68 people were in hospital with the disease.

The number of patients in intensive care is up by 550 per cent from Aug. 9 when 20 people were in intensive care.

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,847 lives lost out of 172,338 confirmed cases to date.

As of Thursday, 85.3 per cent of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 77.8 per cent have received a second dose.

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • 253 new cases in Interior Health, which has 1,747 total active cases.

  • 233 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 1,669 total active cases.

  • 123 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 926 total active cases.

  • 65 new cases in Island Health, which has 487 total active cases.

  • 98 new cases in Northern Health, which has 752 total active cases.

  • Two cases have been reported among people who reside outside of Canada, a group that has 13 total active cases.

There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks, but there are currently 22 active outbreaks across the province in long-term care, assisted living or acute care facilities.

Eligible people in B.C. who have gotten a first vaccine shot

No vaccination, no participation

At a news conference Thursday, Health Minister Adrian Dix implored people to get vaccinated.

"Choosing to stay unvaccinated when we are able to be vaccinated is simply holding a red flag to a virus that spreads to live," Dix said.

"[There is] nothing heroic in presenting a target for COVID 19."

Unvaccinated people accounted for 70.2 per cent of new cases from Sept. 1-7, and 80.5 per cent of all hospitalizations between Aug. 25 and Sept. 7.

The province says that after adjusting for age, unvaccinated people are 34 times more likely to be hospitalized than those with two shots.

B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccination progress

As of Sept. 13, British Columbians will need to show proof of vaccination to attend non-essential events or partake in non-essential activities.

These include:

  • Indoor ticketed sporting events.

  • Indoor concerts.

  • Indoor theatre/dance/symphony events.

  • Restaurants (indoor and patio dining).

  • Night clubs.

  • Casinos.

  • Movie theatres.

  • Fitness centres/gyms (excluding youth recreational sport).

  • Businesses offering indoor high-intensity group exercise activities.

  • Organized indoor events (e.g., weddings, parties, conferences, meetings, workshops) with 50 or more people.

  • Discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities.

  • Student housing on college and university campuses.

From Sept. 13 until Oct. 24, partially and fully vaccinated people will be able to enter these settings and events.

Starting on Oct. 24, people will need to be fully vaccinated with two doses at least seven days before attending or participating.

Daily COVID-19 vaccination progress in B.C.

Dix said the measures are overwhelmingly supported by British Columbians, noting that over 85 per cent have received their first vaccine shot.

"At this time it is not safe to go on with your life as normal… and not be vaccinated."

Proof of vaccination cards are now available to download or print through the provincial Health Gateway website.

Once you've loaded the site, you will need to enter your:

  • Date of birth.

  • Date of vaccination — dose one or dose two.

Anyone who is not yet vaccinated in B.C. is encouraged to do so immediately.

British Columbians aged 12 and over who have not yet been immunized can register in three ways:

  • By calling 1-833-838-2323. Translators are available in 140 languages.

People can also be immunized at walk-in clinics throughout the province.

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