B.C. recorded the second-highest number of new COVID-19 cases within a 24-hour period on September 24: 148. The all-time high so far was on September 17, when 165 new cases were identified.
Testing did rise in the past 24 hours to 7,584 compared with 6,398 yesterday but the rise in cases is not entirely because of the rise in testing. Today's positivity rate for tests was almost 2%, whereas the rate yesterday, when there were 91 new infections, was 1.4%.
The comparatively high number of new cases bucks a trend. The number of new infections had fallen in the past couple of days, with those totals being in the 90s.
There have now been 8,543 people who have been infected with the virus that has caused a global pandemic since it first arrived in B.C. in late January. Of those, 6,917 people have recovered, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry revealed September 24.
The province recorded two new deaths in the past day, raising the death toll to 229. That leaves 26 people unaccounted for, and health officials have told Glacier Media that the likely reason is that they have left the province without keeping in touch with authorities.
The number of people with active infections continues to be on the decline, after hitting an all-time high of 1,987 on September 21. The number of active cases is now down about 31% from that, at 1,371, although part of the reason for the decline relates to a delay in Vancouver Coastal Health reporting recoveries thanks to it installing a new data management system.
Active cases go down when new daily recoveries, deaths and unaccounted for disappearances outpace new daily infections. Active cases fell by five overnight. There were 148 recoveries, 148 new infections, two deaths and three people left unaccounted for, likely because they left the province without updating officials.
The vast majority of those suffering from active infections from the virus are self-isolating at home, although 61 people are sick enough to be in hospital, with 20 of those people in intensive care units.
The breakdown of all known infections in B.C. by health region is:
• 3,094 in Vancouver Coastal Health (up 78);
• 4,361 in Fraser Health (up 59);
• 203 in Island Health (no change);
• 520 in Interior Health (up five);
• 278 in Northern Health (up five); and
• 87 people who reside outside Canada (up one).
One outbreak at a seniors' home, the OPAL by Element assisted living facility in Vancouver, has been declared over but one outbreak at a seniors' home has been newly discovered – at Banfield Pavilion long-term care facility in Vancouver.
There are eight additional seniors' long-term care or assisted-living facilities with outbreaks. They are:
• Point Grey Private Hospital long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Yaletown House long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Cherington Place long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Evergreen Hamlets long-term care facility in Surrey;
• 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.
Of the 822 COVID-19 infections in seniors' homes in B.C., including 487 residents and 335 staff. The death rate among seniors who have contracted COVID-19 is significantly higher than younger demographics.
There are also five acute-care facilities, or hospitals, with outbreaks. They are:
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Delta Hospital in Delta;
• Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock;
• Burnaby General Hospital in Burnaby; and
• Surrey Memorial Hospital.
"We have no new community outbreaks but we do continue to have exposure events," Henry said.
The result of those "exposure events" is a record high 3,417 people who are actively being monitored by health officials for potentially having COVID-19.