British Columbia health officials reported 624 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, along with four additional deaths and a continuously rising number of patients in hospital.
The update brought B.C.’s seven-day average for new cases down to 667, and left the province with 5,929 active cases.
Of the new cases, 258 were in the Fraser Health region, 78 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 118 were in the Interior Health region, 91 were in the Northern Health region and 79 were in the Island Health region.
There were 373 active cases of COVID-19 in hospital — an overnight jump of 23 and the highest the figure has been since mid-May.
The number of patients in critical or intensive care dropped by four to 132.
The hospitalization numbers do not include patients who were no longer infectious but remained in hospital for other treatment — a figure officials have not provided since Sept. 21.
More than 4.1 million British Columbians, accounting for 88.5 per cent of those eligible and 79.7 per cent of the province’s population, have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 3.8 million people, accounting for 82.1 per cent of those eligible and 73.9 per cent of the population, have had two doses.
Earlier Thursday, the independent BC COVID-19 Modelling Group released data showing a sharp rise in the number of cases in children under the age of 12.
Kids in that age group, who cannot be immunized, make up nearly half of the remaining group of British Columbians who have not gotten the shot.
The modelling group also said data from the last two weeks show communities with a vaccination rate of more than 90 per cent had 3.3 times fewer cases than communities where 70 per cent of those eligible had been immunized.
Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. has reported 191,748 total COVID-19 cases, while 1,996 people have died.