715 new cases of COVID-19 and 4 more deaths recorded in B.C.

·4 min read
A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask looks at a cellphone while walking in Victoria, B.C. on Oct. 19, 2021. (Ken Mizokoshi/CBC - image credit)
A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask looks at a cellphone while walking in Victoria, B.C. on Oct. 19, 2021. (Ken Mizokoshi/CBC - image credit)

British Columbia announced 715 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths on Thursday.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 4,965 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 377 people are in hospital, with 136 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by one from last Thursday, when 378 people were in hospital with the disease and up by about 13.6 per cent from a month ago when 332 people were in hospital.

COVID-19 in British Columbia by the numbers

The number of patients in intensive care is down by about 11 per cent from 153 a week ago and by 12.3 per cent from a month ago when 155 people were in the ICU.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,096 lives lost out of 200,249 confirmed cases to date. All four of the new deaths reported on Oct. 21 were in the Northern Health region, an area of the province with low vaccination rates and high levels of transmission.

Location of new COVID-19 cases in B.C. by health authority

There are a total of 26 active outbreaks in assisted living and long-term care, including outbreaks at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, Mission Memorial Hospital, University Hospital of Northern BC, GR Baker Memorial Hospital and Tofino General Hospital.

As of Thursday, 89.4 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 83.8 per cent a second dose.

Deaths per day due to COVID-19 in B.C., daily total and rolling average

From Oct. 13 to 19, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 66.4 per cent of cases and from Oct. 6 to 19, they accounted for 76.2 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

After factoring for age, people not vaccinated are 22 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated, it said.

So far, 8.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3.9 million second doses.

B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccination progress

Indoor event restrictions easing

Restrictions placed on indoor and outdoor gatherings are being lifted in British Columbia as the two-dose vaccine requirement for people attending them kicks in.

The order had previously restricted capacity limits to 50 per cent for indoor, organized gatherings but as of Monday, these events will be allowed to operate at 100 per cent capacity in places where the B.C. vaccine card is in effect.

These changes apply to:

  • Indoor sporting events.

  • Indoor concerts, theatre, movie theatres, dance and symphony events.

  • Indoor organized events such as weddings, funeral receptions outside of a funeral home and organized parties.

The revision to the provincial health order is effective Monday, Oct. 25, and comes as two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are required for anyone over 12 to access those gatherings.

However, regional health orders and restrictions currently in effect in Northern Health, Interior Health and the eastern Fraser Valley will remain in place.

Restaurants closed for defying health orders

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) issued a closure notice to Corduroy at 1943 Cornwall Ave. in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood on Wednesday for "communicable disease contravention of a public health order."

In April, Corduroy's business licence was suspended for ignoring a closure notice issued by VCH for flouting indoor dining restrictions put in place to curb transmission of COVID-19.

On Thursday, a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted an injunction against Rolly's Restaurant in Hope, which remained open in defiance of a closure order issued by Fraser Health for not checking vaccine cards of patrons.

Rolly's was cited for closure and fined $345 five times by Fraser Health before the health authority sought the injunction.

The restaurant has also been operating without a business licence, which was suspended on Oct. 7 over its non-compliance with provincial health orders. District of Hope bylaw officers have issued Rolly's a $100 fine each day it has opened since.

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