B.C. reports 406 new COVID-19 cases, 51 in Island Health

B.C. reports 406 new COVID-19 cases, 51 in Island Health

British Columbia health officials Tuesday reported 406 new COVID-19 cases, including 51 linked to Vancouver Island, and five deaths since their last update on Nov. 1.

None of the new deaths were recorded in the Island Health region.

Currently, there are 4,694 active cases in the province and 445 people in hospital — 137 of whom are in intensive care. There are 652 active cases in the Island Health region, according to provincial health officials.

In addition to the 51 new cases reported in Island Health, there were 133 cases in Fraser Health, 95 in Interior Health, 86 in Northern Health, and 41 in Vancouver Coastal Health. Additionally, four of the five deaths occurred in Northern Health while the remaining death was in Fraser Health.

Island Health is now second only behind Fraser Health (2,157) for active COVID-19 cases in B.C. As of Tuesday the Ministry of Health confirms 652 active cases in Island Health, followed by Interior Health (613), Vancouver Coastal (607) and Northern Health (606).

The latest BC CDC COVID surveillance dashboard shows the Vancouver Island West local health area (LHA) has the highest number of cases per capita on Vancouver Island. The area, which includes several Indigenous communities and the municipalities of Gold River and Tahsis, has a case rate of 61 per 100,000 population, one of the highest rates in the province.

“When we get to that amount of cases, that has been roughly where restrictions have been levied in other areas,” said Sally Otto, a member of the BC COVID Modelling Group.

The same health area has among the lowest vaccination rates on the island at just 76 per cent fully vaccinated.

“Those places that are vaccinated at like 75 per cent levels have six times higher rates of COVID than those places that are vaccinated at closer to 90 per cent,” Otto said.

Otto says vaccination drives and regional restrictions can drive case numbers back down, as they have in the interior. While Island Health has said previously it would look at regional restrictions if needed, the focus in a media availability on Monday was vaccination.

“Some areas are still posing a challenge and we will continue to work hard to make sure we make the vaccine available because we know how valuable vaccine is in preventing illness,” said Island Health chief medical health officer Dr. Richard Stanwick.

New data from health officials shows that 90 per cent of eligible individuals over the age of 12 in British Columbia have received their first dose of vaccine while 85.4 per cent have had their second dose. Furthermore, 90.4 per cent of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose while 86 per cent have received their second dose.

A total of 206,690 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 2,186 deaths, 199,480 recoveries have been reported in British Columbia while 8,250,566 doses of vaccine administered province-wide.

Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod
April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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