British Columbia health officials on Wednesday reported 2,944 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, made the announcement during a press conference on Dec. 29. Health officials rarely announce daily COVID-19 numbers during press conferences anymore.
Henry also said there are 16,014 active cases in British Columbia — 1,363 in Island Health, 5,462 in Vancouver Coastal, 7,192 in Fraser, 1,576 in Interior and 431 in Northern Health.
Active cases province-wide have climbed 54% increase since Dec. 24. They have climbed 271% since Dec. 10 and 421% increase since Dec. 3.
There are currently 206 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in British Columbia, 66 of whom are in critical care of ICU, according to Henry. Since Dec. 3, hospitalizations are down 25 per cent, province-wide, although they have increased slightly from 192 to 206 since Dec. 24.
There have also been five COVID-related deaths since Christmas Eve, including three in the Island Health region.
It is worth noting that the figures are likely higher because there have been testing delays and restrictions in terms of who is able to get access to testing.
In a release to the media, the B.C. government says there are 309 new cases in Island Health.
The release also notes that 2,452 cases of the Omicron variant of concern have been confirmed in British Columbia. Of those, 436 are in Island Health, 1,265 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 628 are in Fraser Health, 114 are in Interior Health, seven are in Northern Health and two are listed as “unknown.”
New data from the province shows that between Dec. 21 and Dec. 27, fully vaccinated individuals accounted for 84.1% of all recorded cases (14,030) across the province while unvaccinated individuals accounted for 14.5% of all cases.
When it comes to hospitalizations, unvaccinated individuals accounted for 57.6% of those hospitalized (132) in British Columbia between Dec. 14 and Dec. 27, while fully vaccinated individuals accounted for 42.4% of all hospitalizations.
According to the BCCDC dashboard, there are 38 people in the Island Health region in hospital, 12 of whom are in critical care.
Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 16,940 confirmed cases, 745 hospitalizations, 15, 249 recoveries, 142 confirmed deaths, 512,760 tests performed, and 1,567,952 doses of vaccine administered in the Island Health region.
Editor’s Note: Island Health’s dashboard has not updated today (Dec. 29) and therefore a breakdown of active COVID-19 cases by area on Vancouver Island is not available.