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B.C. COVID-19 hospitalizations reach 20-week high

New cases outpace recoveries to push up the number of active cases for first time in more than a week
B.C. provincial health officer Bonnie Henry regularly gives updates on COVID-19 in the province | B.C. government

The number of British Columbians suffering in hospital with COVID-19 infections hit 72 – a more than 20-week high, on September 30.

The last time there were more people in hospital with the life-threatening virus was on May 8, when there were 73 people hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 21 people are in intensive care units. 

There were 125 new COVID-19 infections identified in the past day, which is 19 more than the 106 people who were deemed to have recovered overnight. Given that there were also no new deaths reported in the past 24 hours, the number of active infections, or people deemed to be currently infectious, should have risen by 19. Because that number only rose by 16, to 1,284, that means that three people are unaccounted for. Health officials have told BIV in the past that a likely explanation for these discrepancies is that the people have left the province without keeping tabs with authorities on their status. 

The province said that 9,752 tests were conducted overnight, meaning that the positivity rate was almost 1.3%. 

The rise in the number of people actively fighting infections rose for the first time since September 21.

B.C. has recorded 9,138 people infected with COVID-19 since the virus first appeared in the province in late January. Of those, 7,591 people have recovered, 234 people have died and 1,284 people are actively fighting infections. That leaves a total of 29 people who are unaccounted for, with the likely explanation for them being that they left the province without keeping tabs with authorities on their status. 

New cases were identified in all health regions. Here is a breakdown of all known infections in B.C. by health region:
•  3,340 in Vancouver Coastal Health (up 54);
•  4,658 in Fraser Health (up 64);
•  208 in Island Health (up two);
•  533 in Interior Health (up two);
•  312 in Northern Health (up three); and
•  87 people who reside outside Canada (no change).

There were no new outbreaks in hospitals or seniors' long-term care or assisted living facilities.

The three active outbreaks at B.C. hospitals are all in the Lower Mainland: 
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Delta Hospital in Delta; and
• Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock.

There are also outbreaks at 14 seniors' long-term care or assisted-living facilities:
• Haro Park Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Point Grey Private Hospital long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Yaletown House long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Harrison West at Elim Village in Surrey;
• Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey;
• Cherington Place long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Evergreen Hamlets long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Thornebridge Gardens in New Westminster;
• KinVillage assisted living facility in Tsawwassen;
• Milieu Children and Family Services Society community-living facility in Courtenay;
• New Vista Care Home long-term care facility in Burnaby; and
• Rideau Retirement Centre independent living facility in Burnaby.

"There have been no new community outbreaks, although there continue to be community exposure events around the province,"  said provincial health officer Bonnie Henry, and deputy minister of health Stephen Brown in a joint statement. 

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