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COVID-19: 743 new cases and 7 deaths in B.C.; 80% of those eligible now fully vaccinated

Click to play video: 'Where COVID-19 case numbers are rising in B.C.' Where COVID-19 case numbers are rising in B.C.
Global's Keith Baldrey has a look at where COVID-19 numbers are rising in our province - including the uptick in cases in the Fraser Valley – Sep 24, 2021

British Columbia health officials reported 743 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, along with another seven deaths.

The update left B.C.’s seven-day rolling average for new cases at 650, while the number of active cases climbed to 5,979.

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Both B.C.’s seven-day case average and active cases have remained high but relatively steady since the last week of August.

Of the new cases, 292 were in the Fraser Health region, 111 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 177 were in the Interior Health region, 106 were in the Northern Health region and 57 were in the Island health region.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 patient pleads with others to get vaccinated' COVID-19 patient pleads with others to get vaccinated
COVID-19 patient pleads with others to get vaccinated – Sep 23, 2021

Read more: ‘I chose not to get the vaccine’: B.C. mom battling COVID speaks from her ICU bed

There were 319 COVID patients in hospital, an overnight decrease of 11, and 149 people in critical or intensive care — an increase of one.

Ninety-four per cent of COVID patients in B.C. ICUs were not fully vaccinated.

Earlier Friday, the province released a statement regarding the way it reports COVID-19 patients in hospital, acknowledging that scores of people admitted because of the disease were no longer counted in the COVID totals, despite still being in hospital.

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According to the Ministry of Health, COVID-19 patients are removed from critical care totals when they are no longer infectious, but remain a part of the hospitalization total.

However, some patients who, “for reasons that are no longer tied to COVID-19,” require longer stays in hospital “may no longer be counted as COVID-19 patients once they are no longer infectious, even though they remain in hospital, it said.

Officials said as of Tuesday, there were 152 such patients, labelled “discontinued isolation” in the system.

“These discontinued isolation cases are reported independently from B.C.’s COVID numbers. They are included in reports on overall hospital capacity and critical-care capacity,” the ministry said.

“These cases do not directly contribute to the epidemiological picture of the pandemic, but importantly, make a significant contribution to public awareness and understanding of hospitals’ readiness to provide care.”

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More than 4.05 million British Columbians, accounting for 87.5 per cent of those eligible and 78.7 of B.C.’s population, have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Of them, more than 3.7 million people, accounting for 80 per cent of those eligible and 72 per cent of B.C.’s population, have had two doses.

Since the start of the pandemic the province has reported 182,512 total cases and 1,922 deaths.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include information released Friday about how the province tracks COVID-19 patients in hospital.

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