COVID-19 claims 13 more lives as B.C. reports 3 fewer people in hospital but 9 more in the ICU
985 people in hospital with the disease, down from 988 on Wednesday
B.C. health officials reported 985 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday, including 145 in intensive care, as the province recorded 13 more deaths from the disease and 1,518 new cases.
The new numbers represent a decrease of three COVID-19 patients hospitalized within the last 24 hours, but nine more patients in the ICU.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up slightly (less than one per cent) from last Thursday, when 977 people were in hospital with the disease.
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 has risen by about three per cent from 141 a week ago but is up 68 per cent from a month ago when 86 people were in the ICU.
Experts say hospitalizations are a more accurate barometer of the disease's impact, as new case numbers in B.C. are likely much higher than reported, now that the province has hit its testing limit because of the Omicron surge.
As of Thursday, the seven-day average for case positivity is 20.5 per cent, according to the province's COVID-19 dashboard.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that anything above a five per cent test-positivity rate indicates a concerning level of community transmission.
There are currently 25,554 recorded active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.
The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,656 lives lost out of 329,143 confirmed cases to date.
There are a total of 56 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term, and acute care facilities.
Acute care outbreaks include:
- Langley Memorial Hospital.
- Victoria General Hospital.
- Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
- Cowichan District Hospital.
- Kelowna General Hospital.
As of Thursday, 90 per cent of those five and older in B.C. had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 84.2 per cent a second dose.
From Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 25.2 per cent of cases and from Jan. 19 to Feb. 1, they accounted for 31.1 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.
A total of 2.2 million people have received a booster shot to date.
Number of people in hospital hitting 'peak'
Health officials say B.C. appears to have reached peak numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospital.
Henry presented new numbers at a news conference on Tuesday, saying that while the highly transmissible Omicron variant has caused hospitalizations to soar above record levels, the data confirms it's causing less serious illness than the previously dominant Delta variant.
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in B.C. surpassed 1,000 for the first time on Monday but has since dropped below that mark.