Skip to content

New and serious COVID-19 cases rise across B.C.

New cases, hospitalizations and ICU patient counts hit new months-high levels August 27.
3S mask
Masks remain mandatory in indoor public settings in B.C.

Summer weather, beckoning British Columbians outside, has failed to tamp down the spread of COVID-19 across the province.

B.C. saw new months-high levels on August 27 for new cases, hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) patient counts.

The 867 new infections detected in the past 24 hours is the highest single-day tally since April 23, when health officials discovered 1,001 cases. Testing has increased. With 15,223 tests conducted, the positive-test rate was 5.7%, which is within the 4% to 6% range in the last couple weeks.

In total, 5,657 residents in the province are battling active infections, with 159 of those in hospitals, including 84 sick enough to be in ICUs. The number of COVID-19 hospital patients has not been higher in B.C. since June 11, when 162 people were in those facilities. ICUs have not been as filled with COVID-19 patients since May 27, when there were 88 COVID-19 patients. 

Three more COVID-19 fatalities raise the province's pandemic death toll to 1,807.

Unvaccinated people have been fuelling the recent rise in cases. 

The most recent government data on vaccination status noted that between August 12 and 25, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 82% of cases and 85.9% of hospitalizations. 

The 4,368 cases in the week ended August 25 included:
• 3,116 (71.3%) unvaccinated;
• 467 (10.7%) partially vaccinated; and
• 785 (18%) fully vaccinated.

Of the 213 hospitalizations in the two weeks ended August 25, there were:
• 169 not vaccinated (79.3%0;
• 14 partially vaccinated (6.6%); and
• 30 fully vaccinated (14.1%).

New vaccinations are down considerably, compared with a month ago, as most eligible British Columbians are already vaccinated.

Health officials provided British Columbians with 18,612 vaccine jabs in arms in the past 24 hours. Of the new jabs, 8,529 went to unvaccinated people, while 10,083 were to those needing second doses. 

Of the 3,886.952 B.C. residents who have received at least one dose of vaccine, more than 90.4%, or 3,514,485, are fully vaccinated. 

The B.C. government estimated in February that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so that means that more than 75.5% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 68.3% of the province's total population has had two doses.

The government's math holds that 83.9% of the province's eligible population, aged 12 years and older, has been vaccinated at least once, with 75.8% of eligible people being fully vaccinated. 

The Interior Health region remains the province's hot spot, although cases have been rising across the province.

Glacier Media crunched the numbers for how many of the 867 cases identified in the past day were in each of the province's health regions. The result for the number of new infections for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets) was:
• 1.3 in Fraser Health (228);
• 1.3 in Vancouver Coastal Health (165);
• 4.7 in Interior Health (350);
• 2 in Northern Health (61); and
• 0.7 in Island Health (63).

No new cases were in people who normally reside outside B.C.

The result by health region for the number of people fighting active infections, for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets), was:
• 7.7 in Fraser Health (1,377);
• 9.1 in Vancouver Coastal Health (1,132);
• 29.5 in Interior Health (2,190);
• 13.1 in Northern Health (393); and
• 6.5 in Island Health (555).

The highest proportion of active cases in the week ended August 23 in the Lower Mainland were in the Downtown Eastside, and into East Vancouver, as those areas were the only ones that had more than 20 cases per 10,000 people. Northeastern B.C. was the only part of the province with no known COVID-19 cases in that week. 

Despite rising vaccination levels, active outbreaks continue at 14 B.C. seniors' homes, or other healthcare facilities. 

Those include: 
• Brock Fahrni in Vancouver;
• Spring Valley Care Centre in Kelowna
• Heritage Village in Chilliwack; 
• Hardy View Lodge in Grand Forks;
• Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna;
• Nicola Meadows in Merritt;
• Village at Mill Creek (second floor) in Kelowna;
• Hawthorn Park in Kelowna; 
• David Lloyd Jones long-term care home in Kelowna;
• Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock;
• Kootenay Street Village in Cranbrook;
• Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna;
• Brookhaven Care Centre in West Kelowna; and
• Nelson Jubilee Manor in Nelson.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom