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B.C. COVID-19 hospitalizations at new high since May

Four more pandemic-related deaths bring province's COVID-19 death toll to 2,033
COVID patient - getty images
A nurse comforts a COVID-19 patient in hospital

An uptick in B.C.'s COVID-19 hospitalizations has brought the province again to the highest level since May. 

There are now 374 people fighting for their lives in B.C. hospitals with the disease, which is a net total of 17 more people than yesterday, and the highest number since May 14. That number only includes patients who entered hospital with COVID-19 and have not yet gone 10 days after having first felt symptoms. In some exceptional cases, patients are in that count up to 20 days after having felt the first COVID-19 symptoms.

A separate total of patients linked to the COVID-19 pandemic includes those who entered hospital with COVID-19, but have gone more than 10 days after feeling the first symptoms, and the government therefore does not consider them to be infectious. This total also includes people who entered hospital for a different reason than COVID-19, and then caught the disease. Bonnie Henry earlier this month said that this number was "around 140."

Of those in the official hospital count for COVID-19 patients, 153 are in intensive care units (ICUs), which is the same number as yesterday. The vast majority of the 5,172 people in B.C. actively fighting infections have been told to self-isolate.

Four more individuals have lost their lives to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 in B.C., raising the province's pandemic death toll to 2,033.

Another 605 infections were discovered overnight. In total, 195,186 British Columbians have contracted the disease since the first case was detected in the province in January, 2020.

Of those, nearly 96.1%, or 187,564 people, are deemed by the province to have recovered because they have gone more than 10 days after first feeling symptoms, and are therefore considered to be not infectious. 

Unvaccinated people continue to be largely responsible for much of the disease's spread. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Bonnie Henry have each called the phenomenon the "pandemic of the unvaccinated."

Today's statistics that back that up include that between October 5 and October 11, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 68% of new cases. Between September 28 and October 11, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 73.4% of hospitalizations.

These statistics underscore that the vast majority of those getting infected and sick are not fully vaccinated. This is happening while the vast majority of the population in B.C. is fully vaccinated.

Across B.C., 88.9% of eligible adults older than 12 have had at least one dose of vaccine, with 82.7% of those eligible people having had two doses, according to the B.C. government.

Of the 4,120,063 B.C. residents who have received one dose of vaccine since mid-December, 2020, more than 93%, or 3,835,508, are fully vaccinated, with two doses.

The B.C. government estimated in July that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so Glacier Media's calculation is that more than 80% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 74.5% of the province's total population has had two doses.

New vaccinations continue to crawl along at a sluggish pace, compared to a few months ago, largely because the vast majority of British Columbians have already received their needed two doses.

Health officials provided 8,108 doses of vaccine to British Columbians in the past day, with 2,663 of those being to unvaccinated individuals, and 5,445 going to those needing second doses. No data was available for any third doses, which have started to be administered in those with vulnerable immune systems and in seniors' care homes. 

Glacier Media's broke down the 605 new infections by health region, for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets):
• 1.4 in Fraser Health (245);
• 0.7 in Vancouver Coastal Health (82);
• 1.6 in Interior Health (119);
• 2.2 in Northern Health (67); and
• 1.1 in Island Health (92).

There were no known new infections in people who normally do not reside in B.C.

The result by health region, for the 5,172 people fighting active infections, for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets) is:
• 12.3 in Fraser Health (2,214);
•  5.8 in Vancouver Coastal Health (721);
•  11.5 in Interior Health (850);
•  23 in Northern Health (689); and
•  7.5 in Island Health (640).

There are 58 active infections in the province in people who normally reside outside B.C. 

New outbreaks at health-care facilities keep popping up, just as older outbreaks are declared over. 

In the past day, a new outbreak was detected at Tofino General Hospital. The outbreak at the seniors' home known as The Residence in Mission has been declared over. •