British Columbia reported 609 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, along with six additional deaths as new independent modelling showed the province on an promising track.
The update left B.C.’s seven-day average for new cases at 578, while the number of active cases in the province fell to 4,748.
Of the new cases, 257 were in the Fraser Health region, 79 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 92 were in the Interior Health region, 126 were in the Northern Health region and 55 were in the Island Health region.
There were 422 active cases in hospital, the first time the figure has topped 400 since May 13. Of them, 157 patients were in critical or intensive care.
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, despite promises to do so.
More than 4.15 million British Columbians, accounting for 89.7 per cent of those eligible, have now had one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Of them, more than 3.92 million people, accounting for 84.7 per cent of those eligible, have had two doses.
The province unveiled plans to provide booster shots to anyone who needs one within six to eight months of receiving their second dose.
The update came as an independent group of academics and researchers released their latest modelling of the province’s COVID-19 situation, which found cases are slowly dropping with larger dips projected in the weeks to come.
According to the BC COVID-19 Modelling Group, cases have already begun to decline by an average of two per cent per day, with the curve bending further down over the next three weeks.
“There’s good news right now, in that not only have we bent the curve but we are seeing slight declines in COVID numbers in all health authorities with projections of even more declines to come,” UBC mathematical biologist and modelling group member Sarah Otto said.
“What has really worked in this fourth Delta wave is that the province has really done more targeted measures, not an across the board ban on social interactions, social gathering size, across the province, but really targeting where we are seeing high case rates, high demand on hospitalization.”
According to the group’s research, vaccination is also having a noticeable effect.
Communities with a vaccination rate over 95 per cent are seeing a COVID risk four times lower than those with a 75 per cent vaccination rate.
Over the past week, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 64.1 per cent of new cases, while they represented 74.9 per cent of hospitalizations over the past two weeks according to the province’s own data.
Since the pandemic began, B.C. has reported 203,582 cases of COVDI-19, while 2,137 people have died.
With files from Emad AgahiView link »