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Northern Health sees 358 weekend COVID-19 cases and one new death

There are now 1,165 active cases in the region
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Northern Health now has 1,165 active cases

Over a three-day period, there have been 358 new cases of COVID-19 in Northern Health with 1,165 active cases.

Northern Health now has the second-highest number of active cases in the province behind Fraser Health who have 2,218 active cases. 

In the past 72 hours, there have been 18 COVID-19 related deaths, including one in Northern Health for an overall B.C. total of 1,940 since the pandemic began.

Province-wide the weekend saw 2,239 new cases and 6,098 active cases of COVID-19. Of the active cases, 303 individuals are in hospital and 141 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

In Northern Health specifically, there are 57 reported hospitalizations with 16 people in critical care.

Last week, the province said 152 people were in hospital with lingering effects from COVID-19 in addition to those deemed infectious. This is important because it shows the broader impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital capacity. 

There are 21 active outbreaks at healthcare facilities around the province and on Sunday, Northern Health also declared an outbreak at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. (UHNBC) on the n the Primary Care Medical Unit.

"Nine patients and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 in association with the outbreak, and monitoring and testing is underway to identify any additional cases," officials said.

In response, cleaning and monitoring for symptoms among staff and patients have been stepped up and access to the unit has been restricted to essential visitors only and movement of staff and patient between areas of the hospital has been limited.

"Public health officials will be monitoring the situation carefully over coming weeks and will only declare the outbreak over when they are confident that chains of transmission have been stopped," officials said.

On Sept. 21 the province announced that Fifteen ICU beds have been set aside in Vancouver and Victoria for patients transferred from the Northern Health region, as hospitals in the Northern Health region continue to be overwhelmed.

There is also an ongoing outbreak at the long-term care facility Jubilee Lodge attached to UHNBC, as well as an outbreak at Fort St. John Hospital in acute care.

B.C. is also reporting that as of Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, 87.7 per cent or 4,064,859 of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 80.5 per cent or 3,729,606 have received their second dose.

In addition, 88.2 per cent or 3,815,333 per cent of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 81.3 per cent or 3,515,026 have received their second dose.

No new data on unvaccinated people was released today, but on September 24, the government noted that, after factoring for age, people not vaccinated against COVID-19 were 25.9 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated.

-with files from Glen Korstrom, Business in Vancouver