British Columbia

B.C. reports 33 more people in hospital with COVID-19, 11 more in ICU

B.C. health officials reported 924 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, including 130 in intensive care, as the province recorded nine more deaths from the disease and 2,364 new cases.

Province records 2,364 new cases of the disease, 9 more deaths

A health-care worker hands out COVID-19 rapid tests to people at the Bear Creek rapid test distribution centre in Surrey, B.C., on Jan. 18, 2022. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials reported 924 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, including 130 in intensive care, as the province recorded nine more deaths from the disease and 2,364 new cases.

The new numbers represent an increase of 33 COVID-19 patients hospitalized within the last 24 hours, including 11 more patients in the ICU.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 43 per cent from last Friday, when 646 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 up from 95 a week ago and up by 71 per cent from a month ago when 76 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 33,997 recorded active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,529 lives lost out of 308,079 confirmed cases to date.

There are a total of 62 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term, and acute care facilities.

Acute care outbreaks include: 

  • Surrey Memorial Hospital
  • Abbotsford Regional Hospital
  • Langley Memorial Hospital
  • Burnaby Hospital
  • Peace Arch Hospital
  • Kelowna General Hospital
  • Royal Jubilee Hospital

As of Friday, 89.4 per cent of those five and older in B.C. had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 83.5 per cent a second dose.

From Jan. 13 to 19, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 27.6 per cent of cases. From Jan. 6 to 19, they accounted for 30.9 per cent of hospitalizations.

A total of 1,752,704 people have received a booster shot to date.

5-day isolation for vaccinated, 10 for unvaccinated

Health officials in B.C. are asking residents to self monitor for symptoms and follow health orders to help reduce the spread of the Omicron variant, as contact tracing is no longer an effective way of controlling the spread of the coronavirus.

Henry said there is no longer capacity to test everyone who thinks they may have contracted the illness, and that given that most people suffer mild symptoms when infected with Omicron, the shift will be toward preventing transmission.

"We have to change our way of thinking," said Henry.

People who have been vaccinated, as well as children, are to isolate for five days — the reason being, according to Henry, the vaccine helps people clear the virus from their system faster and children are at lower risk of severe illness.

Non-vaccinated people who test positive must self-isolate for 10 days.

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