A pop up COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Rotary Park in Smithers is open for walk-ins for first and second doses of vaccine until 6 p.m. Friday and and at the Smithers arena Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Deb Meissner/Interior News)

A pop up COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Rotary Park in Smithers is open for walk-ins for first and second doses of vaccine until 6 p.m. Friday and and at the Smithers arena Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Deb Meissner/Interior News)

B.C. records 743 more COVID-19 cases Friday, 7 more deaths

34 deaths in 8 days, hospital and ICU cases remain high

B.C. public health teams reported 743 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, similar to recent daily totals, with seven more deaths as the number of severe illnesses remains high in the province’s fourth wave.

There are 319 people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions as of Sept. 24, down from 330 over the past 24 hours, and 149 in intensive care, up by one since Thursday’s count. The health ministry said the new and total case numbers are provisional and may change due to data updates.

There have been no new outbreaks reported in the health care system, and an outbreak at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital has been declared over. That leaves 21 active outbreaks, mostly at senior care facilities

From Sept. 16-22, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 75.0% of cases and from Sept. 9-22, they accounted for 81.9% of hospitalizations. After factoring for age, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control calculates that people not vaccinated are 25.9 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated.

B.C. health authorities continue to operate scheduled appointment and walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the province. A full list of clinic locations and hours by region can be found here. Registration and booking appointments in B.C. can be done here, or by calling 1-833-838-2323 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. seven days a week.

RELATED: Canada pauses vaccine shipments, 18 million on hand

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The health ministry issued a statement Friday clarifying how hospital cases are reported, after media stories that there were inconsistencies.

“All COVID-19 patients in B.C. who require any form of hospital care are counted as one case in daily totals when they first enter a facility,” the ministry said. “These individuals continue to be included in this count for the duration of the time they remain infectious. Once a patient in critical care is no longer infectious with COVID-19, the patient is removed from daily critical-care totals. However, for planning purposes, these patients are still included in the overall COVID-19 counts for the hospital.”

New and active cases by region for Sept. 24:

• 292 new cases in Fraser Health, 2029 active

• 111 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 955 active

• 177 new cases in Interior Health, 1,266 active

• 106 new cases in Northern Health, 1,023 active

• 57 new cases in Island Health, 660 active


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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