British Columbia

Hospitalizations continue to drop as B.C. reports 5 fewer in ICU and 5 more deaths from COVID-19

B.C. health officials reported 867 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday, including 138 in intensive care, as the province recorded five more deaths from the disease and 1,318 new cases.

Hospitalizations fall to 867 from 893

A pedestrian in downtown Vancouver in September 2021. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC News)

B.C. health officials reported 867 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday, including 138 in intensive care, as the province recorded five more deaths from the disease and 1,318 new cases.

The new numbers represent a decrease of 26 COVID-19 patients hospitalized within the last 24 hours, including five fewer patients in the ICU.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are down by12 per cent from last Thursday, when 985 people were in hospital with the disease and down 17 per cent from their peak at the beginning of this month.

Due to a data reporting change introduced Jan. 14, month-to-month hospitalization comparisons won't be available again until Feb. 14.

 

The number of patients in intensive care is down by about 4.8 per cent from 145 a week ago and up by 45 per cent from a month ago when 95 people were in the ICU.

 

As of Thursday, 17.5 per cent of COVID-19 tests in B.C. are coming back positive, according to the province's COVID-19 dashboard. The number had been above 20 per cent though most of January but has begun to fall this month, along with hospitalizations.

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

 

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,730 lives lost out of 337,547 confirmed cases to date.

There are currently 53 outbreaks in acute care, long-term care and assisted living facilities. 

Acute care outbreaks include:

  • Nanaimo Regional General Hospital
  • Cowichan District Hospital

As of Thursday, 90.3 per cent of those five and older in B.C. had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 84.9 per cent a second dose.

From Feb. 2 to 8, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 23.7 per cent of cases and from Jan. 26 to Feb. 8, they accounted for 31.5 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

A total of 2.3 million people have received a booster shot to date.

Vaccine mandate now includes doctors, dentists, others in health care

Henry announced Wednesday that B.C.'s vaccine mandate for health-care workers will now include all health-care practitioners who were not covered by an initial order on Oct. 26

This includes dentists, chiropractors, and other practitioners regulated by B.C.'s health-care colleges. 

These practitioners have until March 24 to get their first dose. Health professionals with one dose before March 24 may continue to work as long as they receive a second dose 28-35 days after their first.

The new vaccine mandate is set to be rolled out in a phased manner, Henry said, and there will also be opportunities for those under the mandate to provide medical exemptions.

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