B.C. health officials announced 689 new cases of COVID-19 Thurday, the second highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period since May 7. Two more people have died.
In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said there are currently 5,982 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.
A total of 121 people are in hospital, the highest number of new hospitalizations since June 19. Of those patients, 56 are in intensive care, up from 33 a week ago.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up 49 per cent from last Thursday, when 81 people were in hospital with the disease.
The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,784 lives lost. There have been 158,256 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. to date.
The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:
278 new cases in Interior Health, which has 3,368 total active cases.
219 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 1,112 total active cases.
123 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 908 total active cases.
42 new cases in Island Health, which has 346 total active cases.
27 new cases in Northern Health, which has 239 total active cases.
There are no new cases among people who reside outside of Canada, a group which has nine total active cases.
There are 11 active outbreaks in assisted living and long-term care. Of those, eight are in Interior Health and three are in Fraser Health. The outbreak at the Discovery Harbour long-term care facility in the Island Health region has been declared over.
As of Thursday, 82.9 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 74 per cent a second dose.
So far, 7,280,835 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3,431,103 second doses.
New outbreak at Site C project
A new outbreak has been declared at B.C. Hydro's Site C dam project after 41 people tested positive for the virus. There are currently 32 active cases at the site, located near Fort St. John, and more than 110 close contacts of those cases are in self-isolation.
Officials say the confirmed cases are primarily among unvaccinated employees.
It's the second outbreak at the site this year, the first of which was declared on April 28. Over the course of the two-month outbreak, 56 people were infected.
Polling officers not required to be vaccinated
Elections Canada is assuring Canadians that voting in the federal election next month will be safe, even though the agency will not require polling officers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault said polls are a controlled environment, where safety measures can be applied, and that polling stations will follow the public health measures specific to each province.
If the situation changes, Perrault said Elections Canada will make adjustments.
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.