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B.C’s COVID-19 infections jump to 753 Thursday, 3 deaths

Omicron variant cases up to 135, half on Vancouver Island
B.C. immunization lead Dr. Penny Ballem, Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry visit one of the hundreds of pharmacies taking on COVID-19 booster shots as well as annual flu shots, Dec. 14, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. public health teams reported 753 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, up significantly this week as the number of Omicron variant cases climbed to 135.

There are 184 people in hospital with active coronavirus infections as of Dec. 16, down one in the past 24 hours, with 70 people in intensive care, down from 81. There have been three more deaths reported since Wednesday.

After recording 44 cases of the Omicron variant in B.C. during the first two weeks of testing, the total identified so far jumped to 135 on Thursday. Of those cases, 71 were located in Island Health, which has had two recent outbreak clusters. There are 38 Omicron cases in Fraser Health, 20 in Vancouver Coastal, five in Interior Health and one in Northern Health.

With an outbreak at Ponderosa Lodge assisted living in Kamloops declared over, there are no outbreaks in any health care facility in B.C., with strict vaccine mandates in place for employees and visitors, and long-term care residents mostly given third booster doses of vaccine. Pharmacies around he province are beginning to deliver booster shots of COVID-19 vaccine as well as seasonal influenza vaccines.

From Dec. 8-14, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 46.3% of cases, our of the roughly 15% of eligible people not yet receiving two doses. From Dec. 1-14, they accounted for 70.2% of hospitalizations.

B.C. health authorities continue to operate scheduled appointment COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the province for residents age five and older. Registration and booking appointments in B.C. can be done online here, or by calling 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.

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New and active cases by region for Dec. 16:

• 232 new cases in Fraser Health, 1,091 active

• 240 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 999 active

• 99 new cases in Interior Health, 644 active

• 45 new cases in Northern Health, 238 active

• 137 new cases in Island Health, 905 active


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