New daily infections were as low as 284 earlier this month.
Provincial data shows daily new cases in the province hit a record high for the third day in a row, with 2,046 new infections reported Thursday. That staggering number is about double the highest point from the previous peak, unrelated to Omicron in April – and four times the number of new daily infection figures reported just a month ago at around 400-500 cases.
The new infections mean active cases in British Columbia have grown from 2,876 – recorded earlier this month – to 8,739 so far, in the space of three weeks. About 195 people are now hospitalized and 75 are in intensive care.
The rapid spread of the latest variant of COVID quickly became the most severe coronavirus spike in Canada to date. As of December 6, new daily cases were as low as 284.
One new death from the disease has also been reported in the past 24 hours – in the Island Health region – bringing the total number of deaths from the pandemic in British Columbia to 2,410.
Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are now scheduled to speak at a press conference Friday morning at 10 a.m. until mid-January.
According to provincial data, Vancouver Coastal Health continues to see the most cases in this latest surge caused by Omicron. VCH saw 880 new cases on Thursday, bringing the number of active cases in the region to 3,729. For comparison, for the three-day period of December 4-6 earlier this month, VCH saw 138 new cases. of COVID-19 over a 72-hour period.
The latest data also shows that in the past 24 hours there have been 741 new cases in the Fraser Health area, 248 new cases in Island Health, 123 cases in Interior Health and 53 new cases in Northern Health. There is now also a new case of infection for a person who resides outside of Canada.
As with the data reported on Wednesday, the meteoric rise in new COVID cases is occurring without outbreaks in provincial healthcare facilities, long-term care and assisted living facilities (which have resulted in previous spikes in infection in Province).
The province reported no new outbreaks at those facilities this week, although the number of daily cases rose from about 700 to 800 last week to more than 2,000 in the past five days. There is only one active outbreak – at Lions Gate Hospital – currently in the province.
Provincial statistics also show more precisely the impact of the Omicron variant. Officials say there are now 975 cases of the variant in B.C., more than half of which (496) are VCH, while the numbers for Island Health (235) and Fraser Health (221) are all two higher than those of Interior Health (19) and Northern Health. Health (4).
Omicron has demonstrated its continued ability to break vaccine protection in terms of infection, with 75.2% (or 5,173) cases of infection over the past week in people who have received both or more vaccines – against 23.5% (1,620) who are unvaccinated.
However, the vaccine continues to prove effective in stemming the serious consequences. Provincial data show that – per 100,000 population – the number of infections that led to hospitalization in unvaccinated people was 27 (for the past two weeks), while the same number for partially vaccinated people (3 , 1) and fully immunized (1,2) were much lower.