COVID numbers jump again as B.C. records 150 new cases but no additional deaths

·3 min read
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for commercial truck drivers off Highway 91 in North Delta, British Columbia on Wednesday June 16, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic for commercial truck drivers off Highway 91 in North Delta, British Columbia on Wednesday June 16, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

The B.C. government announced 150 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths on Tuesday.

In a written statement, the province said there are currently 783 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C..

Ninety-four of these cases are in the interior Health region for a total of 412 active cases, double the number of active cases in Fraser Health, the region with the second highest number of active cases.

Dr. Silvina Mema, the medical health officer for Interior Health says more than 90 per cent of those cases are among people who are not fully vaccinated.

"There is a large number of people that perhaps haven't gotten to the vaccine yet because it hasn't been a priority for them to do it. But they would do it. If they had the opportunity," said Mema.

She says that is why Interior Health is trying to make getting the vaccine as easy as possible with mobile and pop-up clinics. The province also announced Tuesday that first and second doses will be available at walk-in clinics on Wednesday.

She says service jobs are where most of these cases are occurring. According to Mema, some restaurants, bars and fitness studios among others are closing voluntarily due to staff contracting COVID-19. On Monday, Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa in Vernon closed after two staff members tested positive.

The other new cases, broken down by region, are as follows:

  • 32 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 196 active cases in total.

  • 17 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 122 active cases in total.

  • Three new cases in Northern Health, which has 14 active cases in total.

  • Three new cases in Island Health, which has 35 active cases in total.

  • No new cases of people who normally reside outside of Canada, of which there are four active cases.

A total of 44 people are in hospital, with 22 in intensive care, an 83 per cent increase from 12 a week ago.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by 12 per cent from last Tuesday, when 50 people were in hospital with the disease.

The provincial death toll from COVID-9 is now 1,768 lives lost out of 149,259 confirmed cases to date.

So far, 6,629,811 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 2,887,730 second doses.

Unvaccinated at risk

Cases of COVID-19 have shown an uptick in B.C., with the seven-day rolling average increasing by more than150 per cent in the last three weeks.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said Friday that 78 per cent of new cases recorded between June 15 and July 15 were among unvaccinated people.

For months, health officials and modelling experts have stressed the importance of immunization to reduce community outbreaks.

Among the biggest unknowns for the future of the pandemic remains the highly transmissible delta variant now circulating in Canada — though a recent study has shown that two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or AstraZeneca-Oxford's COVID-19 vaccines are nearly as effective against delta as they are against the previously dominant alpha variant.

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.

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