B.C. health officials announced 609 new cases of COVID-19 and 6 more deaths on Wednesday.
In a written statement, the provincial health ministry said there are currently 4,748 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.
A total of 422 people are in hospital, with 157 in intensive care.
The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,137 lives lost out of 203,582 confirmed cases to date.
COVID-19 in British Columbia by the numbers
Location of new COVID-19 cases in B.C. by health authority
There are a total of 32 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term and acute care, including outbreaks at Mission Memorial Hospital, Chilliwack General Hospital, Queen's Park Care Centre in New Westminster, University Hospital of Northern B.C., GR Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel and Bulkley Valley District Hospital in the Northern Health region.
As of Wednesday, 89.7 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 84.7 per cent a second dose.
From Oct. 19 to 25, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 64.1 per cent of cases and from Oct. 12 to 25, they accounted for 74.9 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.
Deaths per day due to COVID-19 in B.C., daily total and rolling average
So far, 8.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3.9 million second doses.
Test positivity high in northern region
Health minister Adrian Dix is urging caution as COVID-19 numbers stabilize, saying the northern region had a test positivity rate of 19 per cent on Wednesday compared with a rate of four to five per cent for the rest of the province.
Dix said the lowest test positivity rate of 2.5 per cent was in Vancouver Coastal.
He said the B.C. Vaccine Card has helped boost vaccination rates but 10.3 per cent of the population remains
unvaccinated, so the province will continue pushing hard to get that number down as influenza season approaches and flu shots are offered.
He said there is pressure on hospitalization rates and on critical care units from a high number of seriously ill patients, mostly those with COVID-19, being transported from the northern region to other areas.
Dix said 40 of the 155 patients who contracted the virus and are currently receiving critical care are under the age of 50, and all of them are unvaccinated.
3rd doses coming
On Tuesday, the B.C. government announced that everyone in the province who was eligible to receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will now be receiving a third.
Between now and the end of the year, the immunization program will continue to provide third doses to people who are immunocompromised, to residents in long-term care, and to those in assisted living and rural and remote Indigenous communities.
B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccination progress
Seniors aged 70 and over, all Indigenous people over the age of 12, long-term home support clients and seniors in independent living, and health-care workers who had a short interval between their first and second doses will also have the opportunity to receive a third dose by the end of the year.
Starting in January, third dose availability will expand to clinically vulnerable individuals and health-care workers. From there, the rest of the remaining population will become eligible.
COVID-19 infections in B.C. by vaccination status, adjusted by population and age
A plan to start vaccinating children between five and 11 is also expected to begin, pending Health Canada approval, though parents can already register their kids to get immunized.
British Columbians aged 12 and over who have not yet been immunized can register in three ways:
By calling 1-833-838-2323. Translators are available in 140 languages.