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B.C. hits new 10-month low for COVID-19 hospitalizations

New infections returned to counts below 100 in each of the past three days.
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There are 43 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C. – the lowest number in more than 10 months |

Serious COVID-19 infections in B.C. continue to be on the decline, with 43 people now hospitalized with the disease – the lowest number in more than 10 months. 

The last time there were fewer COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals was on September 10, when there were 42 such individuals. 

Of those hospitalized, there remain a net total of 17 people in intensive care units. 

Sadly, one more person succumbed to the disease in the past three days, raising the province's death toll from the pandemic to 1,768.

Helping reduce the likelihood of future serious infections is that the number of new cases has again declined below 100. On Friday (July 23), the province recorded its first daily case count above 100 in more than a month. In the past three days, the number of new cases detected provincewide were 94 on July 24, 79 on July 25, and 94 in the past 24 hours. 

Most new cases were in the Interior Health region, where vaccination rates are lower than in other areas of the province.

By health region, the 267 cases detected in the past three days include:
• 48 in Fraser Health (18%);
• 41 in Vancouver Coastal Health (15.4%);
• 155 in Interior Health (58%);
• five in Northern Health (1.9%);
• 18 in Island Health (6.7%); and
• no one who normally resides outside B.C. 

The number of people actively battling COVID-19 infections has risen, however, by 92 in the past three days, to 695. Nearly half of all active cases are in the Interior Health region.

B.C.'s 695 active infections, by health region, include:
• 185 in Fraser Health (26.6%);
• 118 in Vancouver Coastal Health (17%);
• 342 in Interior Health (49.2%);
• 14 cases in Northern Health (2%);
• 32 in Island Health (4.6%); and
• four people who reside outside B.C. 

More than 98.3%, or 146,636, of the 149,109 people known to have contracted COVID-19 in B.C. are considered by the province to have recovered because they have gone 10 days after first feeling symptoms, and are therefore thought to not be infectious.

Three active outbreaks at B.C. healthcare facilities include ones at:
• Laurel Place at Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey;
• Holyrood Manor in Maple Ridge; and
• Nelson Jubilee Manor in Nelson.

B.C.'s vaccination effort declined in the past three days from its steady pace of more than 60,000 doses provided per day. In the past three days, there were an average of 53,920 doses provided.

In the past three days, another 13,497 British Columbians received their first dose of vaccine, while 148,170 others received second doses necessary to be considered fully vaccinated. Another 94 doses of vaccine went to people who normally reside outside the province.

In total, the province's count is that 3,736,651 British Columbians have received at least one dose of vaccine. All of those are aged 12 years or older, as vaccines are not yet approved for those who are younger than 12 years.

The B.C. government said that 80.6% of B.C.'s eligible population has been vaccinated with at least one dose, so that means that it believes the province has about 4,636,043 residents who are at least 12 years old. It added that 2,840,194 British Columbians have received needed second doses. That amounts to about 61.3% of the eligible population, the government said in a statement.

The B.C. government's most recent estimate of the province's total population is 5,147,712, so that means that almost 72.6% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and nearly 55.2% of the province's total population has had two doses.

Including the 7,419 doses of vaccine that health officials have provided to either people in B.C. who normally live outside the province, or to British Columbians who have since died, health officials have given a total of 6,584,264 jabs in arms since the first dose was given on December 16.

Mobile vaccination clinics have been popping up in an attempt to speed the pace of vaccinations.  

Tomorrow, for example, there is one in Surrey, at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, where Fraser Health says on its website that attendees can "meet BC Lions alumni Sean Millington and hang out with Leo the Lion from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Food trucks and DJ [are] also onsite, arranged by City of Surrey."

gkorstrom@biv.com

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