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Active COVID-19 infections in B.C. fall to new 14-week low: 3,345

Nine more die from the disease, raising B.C.'s pandemic death toll to 2,290.
COVID testing girl - getty - Tang Ming Tung
A girl gets tested for COVID-19

B.C.'s number of COVID-19 infections detected in the past day jumped to 468 on November 18, up from four days in a row of below-400 counts.

That number of new cases remains lower than the upwards of 500 cases that were detected each day earlier this month, and therefore it pushed down the province's number of active infections to 3,345 – the lowest number since August 10. 

Active infections tend to rise and fall based on how many new cases were detected 10 days prior, given the province's penchant for determining that COVID-19 patients have "recovered" if they have gone 10 days following first feeling symptoms, as they are therefore deemed to no longer be infectious. Some patients, however, continue to have health problems for months after their recoveries.

Serious enough infections to merit hospital care are also on the decline, as 355 COVID-19 patients are in B.C. hospitals, which is fewest since October 6. Of those, 110 are in intensive care units (ICUs,) which is one more than yesterday. 

Another nine people lost their lives to the disease that has spawned a global pandemic, raising the province's COVID-19 death toll to 2,290.

The new deaths include:
• five in Fraser Health;
• one in Interior Health;
• two in Northern Health; and
• one in Island Health.

Of the 214,150 people known to have contacted COVID-19 in B.C., the province considers 208,284 to have recovered.

Another 1,653 people in the province received their first vaccination in the past day, while 3,705 others received needed second doses. That raises the number of people in B.C. with at least one dose of vaccine to 4,207,832, with 4,030,851 of those being fully vaccinated with two doses. 

The province's math shows that this is 90.8% of the eligible population having at least one dose of vaccine, while 87% of the population has had two doses. Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry has said that as the percentage of the population in B.C. rises, the risk of infection for everyone declines. 

The B.C. government estimated in July that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so Glacier Media's calculation is that 81.7% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 78.3% of the province's total population has had two doses.

The relatively small number of unvaccinated people continue to be the ones hardest hit by the pandemic. 

Between November 10 and November 16, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 60.4% of cases, and between November 3 and November 16, those individuals accounted for 70.3% of hospitalizations, according to government data. 

Older people also endure more serious bouts of COVID-19, which is why the government has required those who work in seniors' homes to be fully vaccinated. Nonetheless, B.C. has 21 active outbreaks at health-care facilities and seniors' homes.

No new outbreaks have been detected in the past three days, while the outbreak at Queen's Park Care Centre in New Westminster has been declared over.

The 468 new cases include:
• 173 in Fraser Health;
• 69 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 85 in Interior Health;
• 68 in Northern Health; and
• 72 in Island Health.

One new case is in a person who normally resides outside B.C.

The 3,345 active cases include:
• 1,220 in Fraser Health;
• 505 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 612 in Interior Health;
• 489 in Northern Health; and
• 460 in Island Health.

In addition, 59 people who normally reside outside B.C. are also battling active COVID-19 infections. •