Serious COVID-19 infections, and deaths, continue to rack up as B.C. gets battered by the fourth wave of the pandemic.
Another 11 people died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. The last time there were more pandemic-related deaths in a 24-hour period was in early February.
Hospitalizations as a result of the disease has jumped by 24 in the past day, to 240 – the highest total since May 19, exactly 19 weeks ago.
The number of hospitalizations serious enough to require help in intensive care units (ICUs) is up by five in the past day, to 146. Of those in ICU, 121 are unvaccinated, 10 are partially vaccinated, and 15 are fully vaccinated, according to a late-afternoon tweet by Health Minister Adrian Dix.
The count for hospitalizations only includes people who went to hospital after contracting COVID-19 and who have not yet gone 10 days after first feeling symptoms. After that point, health officials consider most people as no longer infectious, and the individuals fall out of the province's count for current hospitalizations.
No new number was released today for how many people went to hospital as COVID-19 patients and were later deemed not infectious but are still taking up hospital beds. No number was given for how many people went to hospital for something else, and then caught COVID-19 in the hospital. The combined total of those two groups last week was pinned at 152. Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry yesterday said the number was "around 140."
There are 6,185 people known to be battling active infections, most of whom have been told to self-isolate at home.
New infections continue to pile up, too. Another 813 British Columbians were diagnosed as having COVID-19 in the past day.
A higher than average number of tests were conducted in the past day – 16,525 – so the positive-test rate was 4.92%, which is within the recent range for new infections.
The new cases raise the total number of infections since the first case was diagnosed in January, 2020, to 185,432.
More than 95.8%, or 177,729 of those are deemed 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 recent trend has been that almost half of all infections are in people younger than 30 years.
The 20,579 infections detected between September 1 and September 28 included:
• 106 people older than 90 years (0.5%);
• 285 people between 80 and 89 years (1.4%);
• 670 people between 70 and 79 years (3.3%);
• 1,323 people between 60 and 69 years (6.4%);
• 1,918 people between 50 and 59 years (9.3%);
• 2,604 people between 40 and 49 years (12.7%);
• 3,693 people between 30 and 39 years (17.9%);
• 5,480 people between 20 and 29 years (26.6%);
• 2,349 people between 10 and 19 years (11.4%);
• 2,148 people younger than 10 years (10.4%); and
• three people whose age is unknown.
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry yesterday said that she was particularly concerned about a spike in new infections among school-aged kids, between five and 11 years, because those individuals are unable to be vaccinated, and have seen an increase in infections since school started on September 7. The rise in infections in that age group is particularly acute in parts of the province, such as the Northern Health region, where vaccination rates are lower.
Across B.C., 87.9% of eligible adults older than 12 have had at least one dose of vaccine, with 80.8% of those eligible people having had two doses, according to the B.C. government.
The B.C. government estimated in July that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so Glacier Media's calculation is that 79.1% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 72.8% of the province's total population has had two doses.
Health officials provided 14,969 doses of vaccine to British Columbians in the past day, with 6,052 of those being to unvaccinated individuals, and 8,917 going to those needing second doses. No data was available for any third doses, which have started to be administered to those who are considered extremely vulnerable, and immunocompromised.
Of the 4,074,112 B.C. residents who have received one dose of vaccine since mid-December, 2020, more than 91.9%, or 3,745,457, are fully vaccinated, with two doses.
The hardest hit region for new and active infections, on a per capita basis, remains Northern Health.
Glacier Media's math shows the number of new infections per health region, for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets) is:
• 1.7 in Fraser Health (303);
• 0.8 in Vancouver Coastal Health (102);
• 2.8 in Interior Health (208);
• 3.9 in Northern Health (118); and
• 1 in Island Health (82).
There were no known new infections in people who normally do not reside in B.C.
The result by health region for the 6,185 people fighting active infections for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets) is:
• 12.9 in Fraser Health (2,316);
• 7.3 in Vancouver Coastal Health (911);
• 17.3 in Interior Health (1,281);
• 30.5 in Northern Health (915); and
• 8.3 in Island Health (704).
The active case counts include 58 people who normally live outside B.C.
Unvaccinated people are the ones driving infections, serious illness and death.
Government data released late afternoon on September 29 show that, after factoring for age, people not vaccinated against COVID-19 are 24.6 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated.
Of the 438 hospitalizations in the two weeks ended September 27, there were:
• 318 not vaccinated (72.6%);
• 36 partially vaccinated (8.2%); and
• 84 fully vaccinated (19.2%).
The 5,121 cases in the week ended September 27 included:
• 3,324 (64.9%) unvaccinated;
• 361 (7%) partially vaccinated; and
• 1,436 (28%) fully vaccinated.
New outbreaks at health-care facilities include ones at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, and at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George. There are now 22 outbreaks at seniors' homes and other health-care settings. •