Active cases, COVID-19 monitoring on the rise in B.C.

·2 min read

Following a six-week high daily case count yesterday, B.C.’s number of active COVID-19 cases and the people under public health monitoring are continuing to increase.

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson reported 4,486 active cases and 7,699 people being monitored, as well as 508 new cases.

Of the new cases, 116 are in the Vancouver Coastal health region (including Richmond), 286 in the Fraser Health region, 22 in the Island Health region, 59 in the Interior Health region and 25 in the Northern Health region.

There are 217 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 61 of whom are in critical care. Sadly, six people lost their lives to the virus since yesterday.

One new healthcare outbreak was announced at a long-term care facility in the Interior Health region. Healthcare outbreaks are currently affecting 447 residents and 287 staff members across B.C.

On a more positive note, the province had its highest number of single-day vaccine doses delivered: 12,250, of which 6,971 were second doses. In total, 192,942 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to British Columbians.

Gustafson said there are now 72 cases of COVID-19 “variants of concern” in the province, of which 52 are the so-called United Kingdom variant and 20 the so-called South African variant. No mention was made of the one confirmed case of the variant first found in Nigeria, confirmed to be a variant of concern by health authorities at Tuesday’s briefing.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said there have been recent increases in cases in Abbotsford and the Tri-Cities.

“What (this) tells us is, COVID-19 is everywhere,” said Dix. “It makes no sense now to go in-person to do karaoke. It makes no sense now, when you can do it virtually, to go and have a trivia event with other people.”

In response to a question about B.C.’s low testing rates—which average 7,186 per day over the last two weeks—Gustafson said testing is “available for any British Columbian who wishes.”

She added that asymptomatic testing is not a strategy that has proven to be helpful, and that the province’s testing guidance is intended to focus on when people should be tested immediately, without delay. Those who present for tests are not turned away, she said.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel