COVID-19 update: B.C. adds 946 cases, 11 deaths over 72 hours

A man wears a facemask near the waterfront in Vancouver. (Shutterstock)

Another 946 cases of COVID-19 and 11 related deaths have been recorded across British Columbia over the last 72 hours, the government said Monday as coronavirus hospitalizations reached a three-month low.

The update from B.C.’s Ministry of Health caused the province’s seven-day average for infections, which has stayed relatively flat since late November, to decrease slightly to 350 per day. The seven-day average for related deaths remained at 4.14 per day.

Meanwhile, the number of infectious COVID-19 patients in hospital dropped to 241 over the weekend, which is the lowest it’s been since Sept. 6. The number of patients in intensive care also fell to 89, down from 95 on Friday.

B.C.’s active case count decreased to 2,876, a drop of about 200 from last week.

While some COVID-19 numbers have been trending in the right direction, there are growing concerns about the new Omicron variant and what impact it might have on transmission around the world.

Earlier on Monday, Health Minister Adrian Dix noted the government’s main focus remains on the Delta variant, which already has had a “profound impact” on the province.

“We don’t need Omicron to tell us to be cautious over Christmas. We just need to look at the Delta variant, which is here now and has a profound effect on all of us,” he said. “This is a time when you should be concerned with the vaccination status of those around you and ensure that you stay safe right now.”

So far, 85.5 per cent of eligible B.C. residents age five and older have had at least one dose of vaccine, and 82 per cent have had two.

The unvaccinated continue to make up the majority of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, according to the ministry’s numbers, despite representing less than 18 per cent of the overall population, including babies, toddlers and other children who are too young for any of the approved vaccines.

People who haven’t received a single dose of vaccine made up 54 per cent of infections between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2, and 61.5 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations between Nov. 19 and Dec. 2.

The government does not release details on the vaccination status of people who have died from COVID-19 on a daily basis. Of the deaths recorded over the weekend, five victims lived in the Fraser Health region, four lived in the Northern Health region, and two lived in the Interior Health region.

Health authority regions that have lagged behind the provincial average in vaccinations are still recording higher daily case numbers per capita.

Over the last 72 hours, Northern Health saw the highest rate of transmission with 38 cases per 100,000 residents, compared to 14.6 in Fraser Health and 11.1 in Vancouver Coastal Health. Interior Health and Island Health recorded 25.7 and 22.7 cases per 100,000 residents, respectively.

With files from The Canadian Press

Source: CTV News