Hospitalizations fall as B.C. records 424 new cases of COVID-19 and 3 more deaths

·3 min read
A woman is seen walking through the rain in Vancouver. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A woman is seen walking through the rain in Vancouver. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials announced 424 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths on Thursday.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 3,061 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 295 people are in hospital with the disease, the lowest number of hospitalizations since mid-September. A total of 112 people are in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by nearly 17 per cent from last Thursday, when 355 people were in hospital with the disease.

The number of patients in intensive care is up by two from 110 a week ago.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,316 lives lost out of 216,758 confirmed cases to date.

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • 140 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 1,092 total active cases.

  • 93 new cases in Interior Health, which has 608 total active cases.

  • 66 new cases in Northern Health, which has 414 total active cases.

  • 63 new cases in Island Health, which has 429 total active cases.

  • 62 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 512 total active cases.

  • There are no new cases among people who reside outside of Canada, a group which has six total active cases.

There are a total of 10 active outbreaks in assisted living and long-term and acute care. Two new outbreaks have been declared at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver and Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge, while an outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops has been declared over.

Acute care outbreaks include:

  • Abbotsford Regional Hospital

  • Ridge Meadows Hospital

  • St. Paul's Hospital

As of Thursday, 91 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 87.5 per cent a second dose.

From Nov. 17 to 23, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 58.9 per cent of cases and from Nov. 10, they accounted for 68.5 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

So far, 8.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including four million second doses.

Thousands of children registered as shots begin next week

Children age 5-11 will start receiving their doses of vaccine starting Monday next week, with invitations being sent out through the province's Get Vaccinated portal.

Bookings are already open, with Health Minister Adrian Dix encouraging parents during a news conference Tuesday to register their kids.

The province says roughly 91,000 children have already been registered for the vaccine. Enough doses will be available for each eligible child in the coming weeks, Dix said.

It comes as the country's chief medical health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said vaccines could also be approved for babies and toddlers early next year.

Drug manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna are both in the process of testing vaccines on toddlers. Pfizer is already conducting clinical trials, while Moderna is waiting for Health Canada approval while recruiting babies and toddlers.

Tam said she anticipates seeing results from Pfizer-BioNTech for those age two to five first. The doctor said she's hoping to see some trial data toward the end of this year.

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