Additional COVID-19 health measures to come as British Columbia registers 2,550 new cases over 3 days
British Columbia health officials announced 2,550 new cases of COVID-19 and three other deaths in the past three days on Monday, signaling new restrictions may be underway.
In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 5,435 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in British Columbia.
The statement said new measures to deal with the latest increase in the number of cases in British Columbia will be announced on Tuesday.
The new case numbers show a continued increase in the number of COVIDs in British Columbia. The breakdown of the last three days is as follows:
- December 17-18: 911 new cases.
- December 18-19: 832 new cases.
- December 19-20: 807 new cases.
It is unclear what role the highly transmissible variant of Omicron played in the figures released on Monday, as the province did not provide updated figures on the variant. Updated figures are expected during Tuesday’s live briefing.
In Monday’s update, officials said a total of 185 people were hospitalized, including 77 in intensive care.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind peaks and declines in new cases, are unchanged from last Monday and down about 48% from a month ago, when 358 people were hospitalized.
The number of intensive care patients is up about seven percent from 72 a week ago, but down 29 percent from a month ago, when 109 people were in intensive care.
The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,402 lives lost out of 228,335 cases confirmed to date.
The regional distribution of new cases is as follows:
- 909 new cases at Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 1,823 total active cases.
- 877 new cases at Fraser Health, with a total of 1,707 active cases.
- 415 new cases at Island Health, which has 1,021 total active cases.
- 268 new cases in Interior Health, with a total of 648 active cases.
- 81 new cases at Northern Health, which has 236 active cases in total.
- There are no new cases among people residing outside of Canada, a group that has no active cases.
There is an active outbreak in the health care system at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.
As of Monday, 91.7% of people 12 and older in British Columbia received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 88.8% a second dose and 16% a third dose.
Including those five years and older, 87.3 percent of people in British Columbia received a first dose and 82.6 percent a second dose.
From Dec. 10 to 16, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 39.4% of cases and from Dec. 3 to 16, they accounted for 71.4% of hospitalizations, depending on the province.
After controlling for age, unvaccinated people are 23.8 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who are fully vaccinated, the statement said.
New restrictions in effect
As of Monday, new public restrictions are in effect, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases across Canada driven by the Omicron variant.
The measures, announced by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Friday, include 50% hearing capacities in large halls and a limited number of guests allowed to attend personal gatherings indoors.
“We need to take these steps until we understand the full impact Omicron will have in the BC context,” said Henry.
“It’s imperative that people follow the new orders in how they celebrate this season.”
She said the restrictions also include the cancellation of all New Years Eve sporting events and tournaments.
Henry also announced that the province will step up scanning of vaccine QR codes to ensure proof of vaccination is confirmed in all settings.