British Columbia

Number of people in ICU with COVID-19 down 42 per cent, according to B.C.'s latest weekly report

British Columbia is reporting a decline in the number of people in hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the latest pandemic data provided by health authorities on Thursday.

Overall COVID-19 hospitalizations also fall with 398 people in hospital and 22 in intensive care

The number of people with COVID-19 in intensive care has declined 40 per cent to 22, according to the latest data from the province. (CBC)

British Columbia is reporting a decline in the number of people in hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19 and a sharp drop in the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care.

Data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows 398 people in hospital with COVID-19, down about three per cent from the week before. Twenty-two patients are in critical care, the lowest total since mid-June and a drop of more than 40 per cent from last week when there were 38 people in the ICU. 

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A total of 28 people died within a month of testing positive for COVID-19 between July 31 and Aug. 6, according to the province, bringing the number of lives lost to 3,995. The number of deaths between July 24 and July 30 has been revised upwards to 54, nearly double the number reported last week.

The government's weekly numbers, which it says are preliminary, are often retroactively changed due to delays in the count and the new way in which the province says it measures weekly cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

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

Deaths are now calculated based on whether they occurred within 30 days of a positive COVID-19 test, whether or not the virus has been confirmed as an underlying cause of death.

A total of 900 new cases were recorded as of Aug. 6, for a total of 380,174 cases to date, a number the province acknowledges is an undercount because most people are testing themselves, and there are fewer lab-reported tests. 

Test positivity rates decline slightly

Test positivity rates dipped slightly to 10.1 per cent for the week ending Aug. 6, according to provincial numbers, down one per cent from the week prior.

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 community transmission.

A total of 173 people were admitted to hospital with the disease between July 31 and Aug. 6, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, a 28.5 per cent decrease from the week before.

According to the BCCDC, monitoring indicates a drop in viral loads in Metro Vancouver wastewater, down from a recent peak in late June and early July.

With files from Akshay Kulkarni and David Ball


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