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Hospitalizations, ICU patient numbers keep rising in B.C.

Province administers fewest daily vaccine doses since March 16
COVID test - getty images
A health official conducts a COVID-19 test

B.C.'s surge in new COVID-19 infections has evolved to include rising numbers of those in hospitals and intensive care units with the disease. 

The most recent government data show that most new cases are in unvaccinated people, and that most British Columbians have been vaccinated. B.C.'s vaccination rates are so high that the province's vaccination campaign has fallen off to a level last seen in March.

There are now 111 British Columbians in hospitals with the disease, with 51 of those in ICU. Both of those metrics are the highest that they have been since June.

There was one known COVID-19 death in the past day, so that metric has yet to join the others, and significantly rise. 

In the first 17 days of August, there were 10 reported deaths, which is a pace only slightly above July, when there were 17 such deaths in the month. In total, 1,781 people have lost their lives to COVID-19 in B.C.

The daily number of new cases hit a three-month peak of 717 cases on August 13, but has since hovered around 500 new cases a day, with 501 cases identified in the past 24 hours. The number of those actively battling COVID-19 infections in B.C. has risen to 5,296, with most in the Interior Health region.

The provincial vaccination campaign has fallen off dramatically thanks to the vast majority of British Columbians being vaccinated.

Officials only provided 17,138 doses of vaccine in the past 24 hours, with that being the fewest COVID-19 vaccine doses provided in a day since March 16. Of the new doses, 3,641 went to new people, and 13,497 were needed second doses.

Of the 3,833,978 B.C. residents who have received at least one dose of vaccine, 88.9%, or 3,406,546 are fully vaccinated. 

The B.C. government estimated in February that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so that means that nearly 74.5% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 66.1% of the province's total population has had two doses.

The government's math holds that 82.7% of the province's eligible population, aged 12 years and older, has been vaccinated at least once, with 73.5% of eligible people being fully vaccinated. 

The B.C. government has never provided immediate breakdowns of how many new infections are in people who are unvaccinated. Instead, it provides this data weeks later. 

Its most recent monthly statistics were for June 24 through July 24. That data show that of the 1,683 cases detected in that time frame, 1,073, or 63.8%, were in people who were either unvaccinated, or who had had their first vaccine dose within three weeks of first exhibiting symptoms.

Another 511 people, or 30.4%, had either received one dose of vaccine, or had not yet gone one week after having received a second dose. Only 99 cases, or 5.9% of those infections, were in people who had received two doses of vaccine and gone one week after that needed second dose before symptoms first started.

Within the June 24 through July 24 timeframe, only 7.4%, or 10 of 136 people in hospital with COVID-19, had been fully vaccinated for more than seven days when symptoms first appeared. One of the 18 deaths in that time period, or 5.6%, were in people who had been fully vaccinated for more than seven days before symptoms first appeared.

The percentage of all new infections, hospitalizations and deaths that are in fully vaccinated people has been growing, however, as a greater percentage of the overall population becomes fully vaccinated.

More than 95.4%, or 149,847, of the 157,014 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.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told Glacier Media earlier this summer that the province does not wait a full 14-day incubation period before considering someone to have recovered from COVID-19. Many people who have had COVID-19 have reported some long-term effects from the disease, such as difficulty breathing, tiredness and a cough, even though the government considers that they have recovered. They call this condition being a COVID-19 long hauler.

Here is a breakdown of where the 501 new COVID-19 infections are in B.C.:
• 139 in Fraser Health (27.7%);
• 92 in Vancouver Coastal Health (18.4%);
• 205 in Interior Health (40.9%);
• 35 in Northern Health (7%);
• 28 in Island Health (5.6%); and 
• two people who normally reside outside B.C.

The 5,296 active infections, include: 
• 932 in Fraser Health (17.6%);
• 758 in Vancouver Coastal Health (14.3%);
• 3,084 in Interior Health (58.2%);
• 206 in Northern Health (3.9%);
• 307 in Island Health (5.8%); and
• nine people who normally reside outside B.C.

There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks.

The 10 active outbreaks at seniors' homes include: 
• Village at Mill Creek (second floor) in Kelowna;
• Hawthorn Park in Kelowna;
• David Lloyd Jones long-term care home in Kelowna;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• 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; and
• Nelson Jubilee Manor in Nelson.