B.C. COVID-19 hospitalizations down slightly as ICU numbers rise
COVID-19 hospitalizations are down slightly from a week ago, while the number of patients in critical care has increased, according to the latest numbers from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's weekly report.
The BCCDC reported 286 people hospitalized with the disease on Thursday, down from 292 a week ago. The province's dashboard shows 27 people in the ICU, up from 20 last Thursday.
In the week leading up to Oct. 29, 23 new deaths were reported among people who tested positive for the coronavirus within the previous 30 days. That brings the number of deaths potentially linked to the disease to 4,525.
That same week, 486 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by B.C. labs, down nearly nine per cent from the week before.
Case totals are believed to be significant underestimates of the true spread of the disease because the centre only counts PCR tests in its report, which are currently inaccessible to the majority of British Columbians.
Last month, a B.C. modelling group say the province was under-reporting key COVID metrics, including deaths.
Weekly numbers shared by the province are preliminary and are often changed retroactively.
For instance, last week, the province reported 44 deaths in the week ending Oct. 22. That total has been revised upwards to 57, an increase of nearly 30 per cent.
Wastewater testing at five different treatment plants, representing 50 per cent of B.C.'s population, shows that virus levels have decreased slightly at four sites during the week ending Oct. 29 with increased levels recorded at the Annacis Island site.
Health officials have urged British Columbians to sign up for their COVID-19 booster shots when they receive an invitation and to get a flu shot as soon as possible to prevent further hospital admissions and deaths this winter, with the potential arrival of a number of variants that are currently circulating in other parts of the world.
And they're advising residents to wear masks and interact in well-ventilated spaces as the weather gets cooler and people spend more time indoors.