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B.C. COVID-19 deaths pass 3,000 threshold

New daily infections reach a four-week high
An Ambulance speeds through Vancouver traffic | Brendan Kergin

Four COVID-19 deaths in the past day have raised B.C.'s pandemic death toll above the 3,000-person threshold, to 3,002.

The deaths come as the number of serious infections decline, but new infections are at a four-week high. 

The number of those now infected with COVID-19 and in provincial hospitals declined by seven overnight, to 274. Of those, 35 are in intensive care units (ICUs), which is seven fewer than yesterday and the lowest number since August 12, when there were 33.

Declining hospitalizations is good news, as is the fact that no new outbreaks have been reported at health-care facilities or seniors' homes in the past day, leaving the number of active outbreaks in those sites at nine. 

One concerning metric, however, is new infections, which soared to 357 in the past 24 hours. That is the highest number for a single day since March 5. It is not clear what the positive-test rate was in the past day because the provincial COVID-19 dashboard had some conflicting data with the official government data release. 

New infections is not the most reliable metric because Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has told vaccinated people with mild symptoms to not get tested so as to free up tests for those who are more vulnerable. As a result she has called the daily case counts "not accurate." 

In total, the province knows of 356,501 COVID-19 infections since the first case was detected in January 2020.

The B.C. government no longer provides daily data updates for active COVID-19 infections.

Vaccinations help limit the spread of the disease that spawned a multi-year global pandemic, and help to reduce the seriousness of infections that do occur.

The vast majority of British Columbians are already vaccinated, and new vaccinations are ongoing. In the past day, 684 residents received their first dose of vaccine, while 1,452 received their second doses, and 2,167 received third doses of vaccine. 

In total, 4,529,134 eligible B.C. residents have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 4,354,416 are considered fully vaccinated with two doses, and 2,669,446 have had three doses.

Recent Statistics Canada 2021 census data counted 5,000,879 residents in B.C.

Glacier Media's calculation therefore is that more than 90.5 per cent of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 87% per cent of the province's total population has had two doses. More than 53.3 per cent have had their third, or booster doses. •