Hospitalizations double in 2 weeks as B.C. records 641 new cases of COVID-19

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Pedestrians, some wearing facemasks and some not, cross a busy intersection in Vancouver on Tuesday, Aug.10, 2021.  (Maggie MacPherson/CBC - image credit)
Pedestrians, some wearing facemasks and some not, cross a busy intersection in Vancouver on Tuesday, Aug.10, 2021. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials announced 641 new cases of COVID-19 but no additional deaths on Tuesday.

A total of 138 people are in hospital, and 78 people are in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up 100 per cent from two weeks ago when 68 people were in hospital with the disease.

The number of patients in intensive care is up by about 53 per cent from 51 a week ago.

In a written statement, the province said there are currently 5,357 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

The breakdown of new cases by vaccination between Aug. 16-22 is as follows:

  • 2,870 cases or 70.2 per cent were among those who are not vaccinated.

  • 680 cases or 16.6 per cent were among those who were fully vaccinated.

  • 541 cases or 13. 2 per cent were among those partially vaccinated.

The breakdown of new cases ending in hospitalization between Aug. 9-22 is as follows:

  • 108 hospitalizations or 77. 7 per cent among people not vaccinated.

  • 20 hospitalizations or 14.4 per cent among those fully vaccinated.

  • 11 hospitalizations or 7.9 per cent among those partially vaccinated.

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 1,801 lives lost. There have been 161,271 confirmed cases to date.

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • 273 new cases in Interior Health, which has 2,054 total active cases.

  • 149 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 1,223 total active cases.

  • 125 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 1,330 total active cases.

  • 53 new cases in Island Health, which has 430 total active cases.

  • 39 new cases in Northern Health, which has 308 total active cases.

  • There are two new cases among people who reside outside of Canada, a group which has 12 total active cases.

There are a total of 11 active outbreaks in assisted living and long-term care. Of those, 10 are in Interior Health, and 1 is in Fraser Health. There is one active outbreak in acute care: at the Peace Arch Hospital in Fraser Health.

As of Tuesday, 83.3 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75.1 per cent a second dose.

On Monday, 5,048 people in B.C. received their first vaccine dose — the highest number in 19 days. Since December 2020, the province has administered 7,351,471 doses.

B.C. vaccine cards, mask mandate

A provincewide mask mandate will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Anyone over the age of 12 must wear a mask in indoor spaces, including grocery stores, city halls, restaurants, pubs and bars, public transit, taxis or office buildings where services to public are provided.

"We now know that there is still a need for certain measures to be taken," said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, citing rising case counts in the province.

"The mask mandate is one of those additional layers that we're putting in place as we transition through the fall."

On Monday, the provincial government announced a plan to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for anyone who wants to attend a concert, sporting event, movie, restaurant, nightclub, casino or fitness class.

The new "B.C. vaccine cards" will be implemented Sept. 13.

Initially, eligible British Columbians will require proof of one dose of vaccine. By Oct. 24, two doses will be required. The cards will be needed for a wide range of non-essential recreational and social activities.

They will not be required at grocery stores or other retail settings. They also won't be necessary to enter a place of worship.

There will be an exemption for children under the age of 12, but not for people who are unable to receive the vaccine for health or religious reasons.

Back to school plans

Students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will return to full-time, in person classes this September, with staff and students in Grade 4 and up required to wear a mask in indoor spaces.

Younger students will be encouraged to wear masks.

There will be no learning groups or cohorts for the 2021/2022 school year.

Health authorities will be able to introduce additional regional measures, specific to individual schools or school districts, if community transmission rates are higher in that area, the province said.

COVID-19 hospitalizations 17 times higher for unvaccinated people

The province's fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is primarily impacting those who remain unvaccinated.

New data from the B.C. government shows that of the 113 new hospitalizations for COVID-19 between Aug. 10 and Aug. 16, 95 were among people completely unvaccinated, compared to 12 for fully vaccinated people and six who'd had one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

That works out to 6.56 unvaccinated people per 100,000 in B.C. who were hospitalized that week compared to 0.37 per 100,000 who were fully vaccinated — a rate for those not vaccinated that is 17.7 times higher than those who are.

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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