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Six more COVID-19 deaths push death toll in B.C. to 1,824

The six deaths is the highest single-day COVID-19 death total since May.
N-COVID Rapid Testing 28.05 GETTY IMAGES
Another 801 British Columbians tested positive for COVID-19 in the past day

Steadily rising numbers of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and ICU patient counts in B.C. have been pushing up the province's pandemic death total. 

The six additional deaths from the disease overnight raises the province's number of COVID-19 fatalities to 1,824. This is the highest single-day death toll from COVID-19 in B.C. since May 27, although there have been three-day totals that have been higher than six during that time. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix said at an afternoon press conference that he is concerned with rising numbers of people in hospital and in intensive care units (ICUs) with COVID-19.

Hospitals are now below the 103.9% occupancy rate that staff grappled with pre-pandemic. The base-bed occupancy rate is 94.9%, Dix said. Additional beds created during the pandemic, known as surge beds, are at 12.8% occupancy. Some parts of the province, such as Northern Health and Interior Health, are harder hit than others, he added.

With 801 new cases detected province-wide in the past 24 hours, there are now 5,931 people actively battling infections – 58 more than yesterday. The vast majority of those infected have been told to self-isolate at home, although 199 are in hospitals, with 116 of those in ICUs.

More than 95.1%, or 159,560 of the 167,654 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 not thought to be infectious.

In the past 24 hours, health officials provided 15,367 vaccine jabs. Of the new vaccine doses provided, 7,080 went to unvaccinated people, with 8,287 others being second doses. 

Of the 3,922,233 B.C. residents who have received at least one dose of vaccine, nearly 90.9%, or 3,565,148 are fully vaccinated. 

The B.C. government estimated in July that the province's total population is 5,147,712, so that means that almost 76.2% of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 69.2% of the province's total population has had two doses.

The government's math holds that 84.6% of the province's eligible population, aged 12 years and older, has been vaccinated at least once, with 76.9% of eligible people being fully vaccinated. 

The most recent government data on vaccination status noted that, between August 24 and 31, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 79% of cases, and 84% of hospitalizations. 

The 4,861 cases in the week ended August 31 included:
• 3,345 (68.8%) unvaccinated;
• 496 (10.2%) partially vaccinated; and
• 1,020 (21%) fully vaccinated.

Of the 253 hospitalizations in the two weeks ended August 31, there were:
• 203 not vaccinated (75.7%);
• 22 partially vaccinated (8.2%); and
• 43 fully vaccinated (16%).

The Northern Health region has passed the Interior Health region as the hottest spot in B.C. for new per-capita COVID-19 infections. As such, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry on September 2 announced a spate of new health restrictions specifically for that region

The Interior Health region remains B.C.'s hot spot for total per-capita active infections. Interior Health also has a range of health restrictions, for things such as personal gatherings. Its hardest hit internal region, the Central Okanagan, has some restrictions that go beyond those that are region-wide, and includes, for example, limits on the size of groups in restaurants. 

Glacier Media crunched the numbers for how many of the 801 cases identified in the past day were in each of the province's health regions. The result for the number of new infections for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets) was:
• 1.5 in Fraser Health (267);
• 1 in Vancouver Coastal Health (128);
• 3.2 in Interior Health (237);
• 3.4 in Northern Health (103); and
• 0.8 in Island Health (66).

No new cases were in people who normally reside outside B.C.

The result by health region for the number of people fighting active infections for each 10,000 residents (with total new cases in brackets) was:
• 9 in Fraser Health (1,616);
• 8.8 in Vancouver Coastal Health (1,102);
• 28.5 in Interior Health (2,112);
• 18.4 in Northern Health (553); and
• 6.4 in Island Health (541).

There have been two new healthcare facility outbreaks, at Northcrest Care Centre in Delta, and at Hillside Village in Salmon Arm. 

The lengthy outbreak at Nelson Jubilee Manor in Nelson has been declared over. 

That brings the total of active COVID-19 outbreaks in healthcare settings or seniors' homes to 20.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom