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COVID-19 Update: BC breaks all-time case record for 2nd day in a row

The BC government announced 1,474 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, breaking the province’s all-time record for the second straight day.

Updates from the Department of Health pushed BC’s seven-day average of infections to 982, the highest level since April. The average has nearly tripled in less than two weeks as the highly infectious variant of Omicron rapidly displaces Delta in the province.

Six other people have also died related to COVID-19.

Hospitalization rates have remained relatively steady, although health officials have noted they are a lagging indicator, meaning there is a tendency to follow cases after a period of delay. The number of COVID-19 patients infecting the hospital fell to 187 patients on Wednesday, with 71 of them in intensive care.

In Quebec, which is thought to be 7 to 10 days BC in terms of how widespread Omicron was, hospitalizations have increased 75% in the past two weeks.

The Department of Health did not provide updates on BC’s confirmed Omicron cases, but said new totals would be shared on Thursday. There have been 756 cases of Omicron infection as of Tuesday, more than double the 302 cases announced on Friday.

While much is still unknown about this variant, provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry points to emerging evidence that it is more contagious, has a shorter incubation period and is more likely to evade. avoids higher immunity than previous variants.

“It’s inevitable that now most of us in the province will be exposed at some point,” Henry said Tuesday. “How it affects us depends on our own actions and what we’re doing.”

It appears that full vaccination offers some protection against severe disease caused by Omicron, health officials say, as the only notable increase the province has seen so far has been among those who do not. vaccinated. Henry encourages everyone to be fully vaccinated and then get a booster dose as soon as possible.

To date, 87.6% of eligible BC residents have received at least one dose, 82.7% have received two doses, and 16% have received three doses.

The rapid rise in COVID-19 cases has prompted officials to implement a number of new restrictions, some of which went into effect on Monday and others that went into effect just before midnight. Wednesday.

Measures to limit the size of personal gatherings, ban New Year’s Eve gatherings, limit capacity at venues such as cinemas and stadiums, and impose new regulations on houses row. They will also force bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centers and dance studios to close.

The rules allow British Columbians to invite up to 10 people on vacation or another household, as long as everyone over 12 is vaccinated. Henry urges people to see a consistent small number of friends and family members, at least until the Omicron variant is better understood.

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