More than 2,400 cases of COVID-19 and 15 additional deaths recorded in B.C. over long weekend
British Columbia recorded 2,425 new cases of COVID-19 and 15 related deaths over the Labour Day long weekend, officials announced Tuesday after unveiling details of the province's vaccine passport system.
The update, provided in a written statement from the Ministry of Health, pushed the province's seven-day average for coronavirus-related fatalities to 3.71 per day, the highest it's been since May 27.
Hospitalizations also continued to climb over the weekend, jumping from 215 on Friday to 255 on Tuesday. The number of patients in intensive care rose from 118 to 126 over the same period.
Health officials have cited increased COVID-19 transmission and the subsequent strain on hospital resources for their decision to implement a proof-of-vaccination requirement at restaurants, movie theatres and other non-essential businesses, which is taking effect on Sept. 13.
On Tuesday afternoon, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry shared details of the plan and how it will look in practice.
The government has already re-implemented a province-wide mask mandate and imposed local COVID-19 restrictions in the Interior Health and Northern Health regions in an attempt to get case numbers under control.
The infections recorded over the weekend, while still significant, were below B.C.'s seven-day average, which dipped from 681 on Friday to 669 on Tuesday. Nearly two-third of the cases came from Interior Health and Fraser Health.
About 13 per cent came from Northern Health, which only accounts for about six per cent of B.C.'s population.
The Ministry of Health did not provide any new numbers on the percentage of recent COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that involved vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
The province's latest modelling data indicates that people without vaccine protection are at 12 times greater risk of infection, 34 times greater risk of hospitalizations, and eight times greater risk of death.
Just over 85 per cent of eligible B.C. residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 77.6 per cent have received both doses. The province has administered 7,545,871 COVID-19 vaccine doses so far.