Canada

COVID-19: Interior Health accounts for over half of cases reported since Friday

First and second COVID-19 vaccine doses available to walk-ins across B.C. clinics on Wednesday

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The Interior Health region accounted for more than half of all new COVID-19 cases in B.C. over the past four days.

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According to the B.C. Ministry of Health, there were 742 new cases of the disease reported provincewide between Friday and Monday — with Interior Health having more cases than the far-more-populous Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions combined, with 395 cases compared to 280. One person died of COVID-19 over the weekend.

In an effort to get people who have not been vaccinated into clinics, the province is offering jabs on a walk-in basis on Wednesday. Usually, the health authority clinics require reservations. The ministry has set aside 20,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna for the walk-in vaccination push, which will be followed by vaccine outreach using mobile and pop-up clinics.

B.C. clinics have given 15,057 first doses of vaccine and 4,714 second doses since Friday.

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You need a photo ID and a vaccine immunization record card if the walk-in is for a second dose. People can walk in for a second dose if their first dose was administered before June 16.

B.C. has among the highest immunization rates in the world, with more than 70 per cent of adults expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of the week. The one dose vaccination rate is 82.3 per cent for adults and 81.4 per cent for everyone 12 and older 12.

Test positivity and vaccination rates vary across health regions, with Interior Health having among the highest proportion of COVID-19 tests coming back positive while having the lowest vaccination rates.

Interior Health accounts for 54 per cent of all 1,544 active cases of COVID-19 and had a test positivity rate of 10.9 per cent on Monday, compared to the 2.8 per cent average in B.C. On July 21, Interior Health had 60 cases with a test positivity rate of 8.9 per cent and a week later there were 124 new cases with a positivity rate of 9.7 per cent.

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B.C.’s daily case counts have been steadily rising since reaching a low of 36 on July 7 — following the third wave of COVID-19 — but have been relatively steady over the past week. There were an average on 185 cases reported in each of the past four days.

In the Public Health Agency of Canada’s latest COVID-19 epidemiology and modelling, the reproduction rate of COVID-19 has been above the critical point since July 18.

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s latest situation report, there have been 8,104 hospital admissions with COVID-19 (not including people who were very sick in care homes) of which 1,834 were treated in intensive care. As of Tuesday, 1,772 people have died from the disease in B.C. The average age of death from COVID-19 for B.C. is 84.

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