COVID-19 update: B.C. adds 1,984 cases and 9 deaths over 3 days

Another 1,984 cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths have been recorded in British Columbia over the last three days, health officials announced Monday.

The latest numbers, provided in a written statement from the Ministry of Health, once again pushed the province's seven-day average for new coronavirus cases above 700.

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital decreased slightly to 278, which includes 139 people in intensive care. Officials said 87 per cent of the current intensive care unit patients are unvaccinated.

Monday's update came hours after the province launched its vaccine card system, which bars unvaccinated individuals from certain non-essential activities such as going to the movies, and shortly after the government announced an expanded vaccine mandate for health-care workers.

"We'll be implementing a new order that makes vaccination against COVID-19 a condition of employment across all health-care facilities in B.C.," provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said

"This includes all workers, students, physicians, residents, contractors and volunteers."

The vast majority of recent cases and hospitalizations involve people who are not vaccinated, a group that represents less than 24 per cent of the provincial population, including the children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible to be immunized.

Between Sept. 3 and 9, the unvaccinated caught COVID-19 at a rate of 306 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 27 cases per 100,000 among the fully vaccinated.

Similarly, between Aug. 27 and Sept. 9, the unvaccinated were hospitalized at a rate of 38 patients per 100,000 people, compared to just one per 100,000 people among the fully vaccinated.

"After factoring for age, people not vaccinated are 34.2 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated," the Ministry of Health said in its statement.

There are now 5,825 active COVID-19 cases across the province, according to officials, about 57 per cent of which come from the Fraser Health and Interior Health regions.

Nearly 86 per cent of eligible B.C. residents age 12 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 78 per cent have received both doses. A total of 7,618,453 doses have been administered across the province so far.

The level of COVID-19 transmission continues to vary by region. Of the cases announced Monday, 58 per cent came from the Fraser Health and Interior Health regions. Those health authorities also recorded two-thirds of the latest COVID-19 deaths, suffering three fatalities each over the weekend.

The Ministry of Health also announced two new health-care facility outbreaks, at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital and Opal by Element, a private care home in Vancouver. There are now 24 active outbreaks across B.C.'s health-care system.