COVID-19 update for July 22: 89 new cases, no deaths | Vaccine clinic to pop up at Playland this weekend | B.C.'s recent uptick in cases not unexpected, say experts | China rejects WHO plan for study of COVID-19 origin

Here's your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for July 22, 2021.


Story continues below

Article content

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


As of the latest figures given on July 22

• Total number of confirmed cases: 148,730 (781 active cases)
• New cases since July 21: 89
• Total deaths: 1,763 (no new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 53
• Intensive care: 15
• Total vaccinations: 6,361,627 doses administered; 2,636,377 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 146,178
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 2

IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts


Story continues below

Article content

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


Interior Health’s mobile vaccination clinics celebrate 20,000-dose milestone

Interior Health marked the 20,000-dose milestone for its mobile immunization clinics.

The three mobile clinics, which hit the road in June, provide pop-up drop-in vaccinations in six cities in the B.C. Interior as well as in rural and remote communities.

“Reaching the 20,000 dose milestone through our mobile clinics is an important achievement to celebrate as we continue to work to increase our vaccination coverage across the interior,” said Interior Health president and CEO Susan Brown in a statement on Thursday. 

The urban immunization clinics wrapped up last week with a “vaxathon” event in Kelowna, while two rural mobile immunization clinics continue to dispense COVID-19 vaccines in rural and hard-to-reach communities in the Interior.

The rural mobile clinics will be in Creston, Armstrong, Enderby and Cranbrook on Friday and Saturday. For a more detailed schedule, click here.

Slight increase in new COVID-19 cases, no additional deaths

The number of new COVID-19 cases on Thursday rose for the third straight day.

B.C. reported 89 new cases of COVID-19, up from 78 new cases on Wednesday and 76 on Tuesday.


Story continues below

Article content

There were no additional deaths, leaving the provincial death toll at 1,763 since the pandemic began.

Out of the 781 active novel coronavirus cases in the province, 53 people are in hospital, including 15 in intensive care.

Interior Health has the highest number of new infections, with 37. Fraser Health reported 30 cases; Vancouver Coastal Health, 18; Island Health, three; and Northern Health, one.

More than 6.3 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered since December 2020, and vaccination efforts continue.

As of Thursday, 80.2 per cent of eligible people age 12 and older have received a first dose, and nearly 57 per cent have received their follow-up dose.

Vaccine clinic to pop up at Playland this weekend

Those who want the thrill of being vaccinated against COVID-19 can get a vaccine at Playland this weekend.

Vancouver Coastal Health says the one-day clinic will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday next to Playland’s main entrance gate on Hastings Street.

No admission ticket to Playland is needed to access the clinic.

First doses will be prioritized for anyone 12 and older, and if there is capacity at the clinic, second doses will also be available for those who received their first dose at least seven weeks ago.

B.C.’s recent uptick in cases not unexpected, say experts

A recent uptick in COVID-19 cases after a steep decline this summer is not unexpected as restrictions were removed, say scientific experts in pandemic modelling.


Story continues below

Article content

The rolling seven-day daily average hit a low of 36 cases a day on July 4 but has risen since then to 58 on July 20, figures compiled by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control show. The rolling average has not risen smoothly, dipping last week before rising again, but is well down from peak highs of more than 1,100 in April.

Experts in modelling the spread of viruses caution not to read too much into the numbers yet because when numbers are low, small fluctuations can appear more dramatic.

But the experts say a rise in cases would not be unexpected given that restrictions have been removed and the entire B.C. population is not vaccinated. Another factor, say scientists, is there is likely to have been a rise in the Delta variant, first identified in India, which spreads more rapidly than earlier variants of the virus.

-Gord Hoekstra

China rejects WHO plan for study of COVID-19 origin

China rejected on Thursday a World Health Organization (WHO) plan for a second phase of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which includes the hypothesis it could have escaped from a Chinese laboratory, a top health official said.

The WHO this month proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities.

“We will not accept such an origins-tracing plan as it, in some aspects, disregards common sense and defies science,” Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the National Health Commission (NHC), told reporters.


Story continues below

Article content

Zeng said he was taken aback when he first read the WHO plan because it lists the hypothesis that a Chinese violation of laboratory protocols had caused the virus to leak during research.

“We hope the WHO would seriously review the considerations and suggestions made by Chinese experts and truly treat the origin tracing of the COVID-19 virus as a scientific matter, and get rid of political interference,” Zeng said.

The origin of the virus remains contested among experts.


B.C. reports 78 new cases, no new deaths

B.C. health officials reported 78 new cases of COVID-19 and no deaths on Wednesday.

It’s the second consecutive day the province has posted a daily case total above 70.

Although the latest case totals are roughly double what they were last week, Health Minister Adrian Dix said B.C.’s overall COVID-19 test positivity rate remains low — under one per cent — except in the Interior Health where it spiked to three per cent.

As recently as May, test positivity numbers for much of the province were well above 10 per cent.

“Listen, in March and April, we would have been celebrating or throwing parades for three per cent test positivity,” said Dix, who noted that many of the recent Interior Health cases were linked to a single cluster event in Grand Forks.

U.S extends travel restrictions at Canada, Mexico land borders through Aug. 21

U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21, the U.S. Homeland Security Department said on Wednesday.


Story continues below

Article content

The 30-day extension came after Canada announced Monday it will start allowing fully-vaccinated U.S. visitors into the country on Aug 9 for non-essential travel as the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic fades.


Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

Latest National Stories


Story continues below

This Week in Flyers