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New COVID-19 cases in B.C. soar to 536

Daily tally of new cases is highest since May 13.
Testing - Getty Images :  Catherine Falls Commercial
B.C.'s COVID-19 positive-test rate has been rising in recent weeks

The spike in COVID-19 infections in B.C. continued August 11, with 536 new cases detected – the highest total since May 13, when there were 587 known new infections. 

The new infections helped push up the number of people actively battling COVID-19 in B.C. to 3,585. There have not been more people struggling with that illness at the same time in B.C. since May 25, when the disease was affecting 3,782 individuals.

Helping the surge in new cases is that health officials conducted more COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours than they have done in a single day in months: 13,486.

As a result, the daily positive-test percentage was just below 4%, down from 4.7% yesterday, when there were 8,437 tests conducted. The province's positive-test rate earlier this month rose above 4% for the first time since May, and it has been over that threshold twice since. The rate is important because the percentage of positive tests is an indicator of the prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

B.C.'s Interior Health region continues to be the source of the highest number of new cases, although most cases were detected outside that region. 

Here is a breakdown of where the 536 new COVID-19 infections are in B.C.:
• 135 in Fraser Health (25.2%);
• 105 in Vancouver Coastal Health (19.6%);
• 258 in Interior Health (48.1%);
• 12 in Northern Health (2.2%); and
• 26 in Island Health (4.9%).

As for active infections, the Interior Health region has a clear majority of cases.

Here is a breakdown of where the 3,585 active COVID-19 infections are in B.C.:
• 699 in Fraser Health (19.5%);
• 493 in Vancouver Coastal Health (13.8%);
• 2,045 in Interior Health (57%);
• 116 in Northern Health (3.2%); and
• 222 in Island Health (6.2%).

The vast majority of those battling infections are self-isolating at home, although 72 are in hospitals, with 29 of those in intensive care units (ICUs). While the number of those now in B.C. hospitals with COVID-19 only rose by one person overnight, that new total of 72 COVID-19 patients is the highest since July 9. The number of those in ICU is the highest since July 2.

One additional COVID-19 death occurred overnight, raising the province's death toll from the pandemic to 1,778.

Nearly 96.5%, or 148,446, of the 153,849 people known to have contracted COVID-19 in B.C. are considered by the province to have recovered because they have gone 10 days after first feeling symptoms, and are therefore not thought to be infectious.

The pace of B.C.'s vaccination campaign has slowed, as most eligible residents are now fully vaccinated. 

British Columbians received 26,512 new doses of vaccine in the past day, with 4,025 of those being first doses, and 22,487 being needed second doses.

This brings the total number of B.C. residents with at least one dose of vaccine to 3,809,806, with 3,296,603 of those being fully vaccinated.

The B.C. government estimated in February that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so that means that slightly more than 74% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 64% of the province's total population has had two doses.

The government's math holds that 82.2% of the province's eligible population, aged 12 years and older, has been vaccinated at least once, with 71.1% of eligible people being fully vaccinated. 

One new outbreak at a B.C. seniors' home has been identified, at Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock.

The other at seven active outbreaks at seniors' homes include:
• KinVillage West Court in South Delta;
• Discovery Harbour in Campbell River;
• Kootenay Street Village in Cranbrook;
• Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna;
• Brookhaven Care Centre in West Kelowna;
• Holyrood Manor in Maple Ridge; and
• Nelson Jubilee Manor in Nelson. 

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom