COVID-19 update: B.C. adds 752 new cases, 9 deaths

A man wears a face mask near the waterfront in Vancouver. (Shutterstock)

British Columbia has added 752 more COVID-19 infections to its total, as well as nine deaths, according to a statement from the provincial Ministry of Health.

The latest cases bring the province's rolling seven-day average for new infections to 685, down from 694 on Tuesday.

There are currently 5,945 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., a total that includes 350 people who are hospitalized and still infectious. There are 136 infectious coronavirus patients in intensive care units in the province.

Since the pandemic began, there have now been 191,124 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C., and 1,992 deaths.

The largest portion Wednesday's new cases was found in the Fraser Health region, where 297 people tested positive, according to the ministry.

Interior Health added 164 cases, Northern Health added 130, Vancouver Coastal Health added 85 and Island Health added 76.

On a per-capita basis, Northern Health continues to have the highest rate of infection in the province by a wide margin.

Northern Health added 43.3 new cases per 100,000 residents on Wednesday, while Interior Health added 20. Fraser Health saw 15.3 infections per 100,000 residents, Island Health saw 8.9 and Vancouver Coastal Health saw 6.9.

Most of the new cases in B.C. continue to be found in people who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the province, 63.7 per cent of the 4,894 people who contracted COVID-19 from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 were unvaccinated.

Similarly, of the 420 people admitted to hospital for COVID-19 from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4, 69.3 per cent were unvaccinated.

This, despite the fact that unvaccinated people represent only about a quarter of the province's total population, including children under age 12 who are ineligible for immunization.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday afternoon, Health Minister Adrian Dix revealed that 35 COVID-19 patients had been flown from Northern Health to hospitals in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.

"None of them are fully vaccinated," Dix said. "(There are) 15 people who are coming down from the Peace River local health area to principally Vancouver Island. It's a terrible place to be. I don't wish it on anyone, but we have to provide them the best care in the world … and we have to get everyone else vaccinated so others aren't going to go through the same thing."

As of Wednesday, 88.4 per cent of eligible people ages 12 and older had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 81.9 per cent of that age group had received both doses.