British Columbia

B.C. reports 18 deaths in 24 hours from COVID-19 but 47 fewer people in hospital

B.C. health officials reported 988 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 136 in intensive care, as the province recorded 18 more deaths from the disease and 1,776 new cases.

Hospitalizations fall to 988 from 1,035

A pedestrian wears a facemask while walking in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials reported 988 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 136 in intensive care, as the province recorded 18 more deaths from the disease and 1,776 new cases.

The new numbers represent a decrease of 47 COVID-19 patients hospitalized within the last 24 hours, including three fewer patients in the ICU.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 4.1 per cent from last Wednesday, when 949 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 is the same as a week ago and up by 86.3 per cent from a month ago when 73 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.

 

There are currently 25,959 recorded active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,643  lives lost out of 327,625 confirmed cases to date.

 

There are a total of 54 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term, and acute care facilities, with an outbreak at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Victoria declared over.

Acute care outbreaks include:

  • Langley Memorial Hospital.
  • Victoria General Hospital.
  • Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
  • Cowichan District Hospital.
  • Kelowna General Hospital.

 

As of Wednesday, 90 per cent of those five and older in B.C. had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 84.1 per cent a second dose.

From Jan. 25 to 31, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 25.2 per cent of cases and from Jan. 18 to 31, they accounted for 31.7 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

A total of 2.17 million people have received a booster shot to date.

Peak hospitalization 

B.C. had been setting daily highs in hospitalizations figures for most of January due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. On Monday, the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in B.C. surpassed 1,000 for the first time.

However, health officials say hospitalizations are peaking and should start to go down.

 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presented new numbers at a news conference on Tuesday that shows Omicron is causing less serious illness than the Delta variant it replaced.

She said hospitalized patients are dying at about half the rate they were during the Delta wave, although the highest risk of death still involves people over the age of 80.

Henry also announced changes to visitation rules for long-term care facilities on Tuesday. Two visitors at a time will now be permitted as long as they are vaccinated and wearing personal protective equipment.

With files from Bethany Lindsay

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