British Columbia

COVID-19 hospitalizations up 33 per cent in 1 week, with 27 more deaths recorded

An additional 121 people are in hospital with COVID-19 compared to a week ago and 27 more people have died after testing positive for the disease, according to B.C.'s new weekly reporting system on the pandemic.

485 people in hospital with COVID-19, 38 in intensive care

A total of 238 people were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 between April 10 and April 16, according to the BCDC. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

An additional 121 people are in hospital with COVID-19 compared to a week ago and 27 more people have died after testing positive for the disease, according to B.C.'s new weekly reporting system on the pandemic.

As of Thursday, 485 people are in hospital with the novel coronavirus, including 38 in intensive care, according to the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard.

That's an increase of just over 33 per cent in overall hospitalizations from last Thursday, when the province reported 364 people in hospital. The number of patients in ICU is up 5.6 per cent from 36 a week ago.

The numbers released Thursday are part of a new approach from B.C. health officials, both in the move to weekly reporting and in how certain metrics are calculated.

Other data related to the pandemic is available in a report from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, which, this week, is tracking cases, hospital admissions and deaths between April 10 and 16.

It shows that 2,036 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in that time, based solely on lab-reported results, for a total of 361,034 cases to date. 

The report shows that the number of new cases is up by about 15 per cent from 1,770 in the previous week. However, due to changes in testing, the province says the case count likely underestimates the true number of people with COVID-19 in B.C.

A total of 238 people were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 between April 10 and April 16, according to the BCDC.

Test positivity rates and wastewater viral loads continue to rise

Twenty-seven more people died between April 10 and 16, a figure that is being reported in a very different way than in the past.

Those deaths include everyone who died within 30 days of testing positive for COVID-19, whether or not the virus has been confirmed as an underlying cause of death. Previously, each death was investigated to determine if COVID-19 was a cause.

Test positivity rates are rising once again, hitting 9.8 per cent provincewide on April 16, up from 8.2 per cent the previous week. Positivity rates range from as high as 20.7  per cent in the Interior Health region to as low as 6.3 per cent in Vancouver Coastal Health, according to the dashboard.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said anything above a five per cent test-positivity rate is an indicator of a more worrying level of transmission.

Wastewater testing at five different treatment plants representing 50 per cent of B.C.'s population shows viral loads increasing more quickly in the last four to five weeks than reported cases, suggesting increasing numbers of unreported cases of COVID-19 due to reduced community diagnostic testing, according to the BCCDC report.

Provincial statistics show more than 29,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered from April 10 to 16. 

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