B.C. health officials reported 985 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Tuesday, including 144 in intensive care, as the province recorded one more death from the disease and 1,446 new cases.
The new numbers represent a decrease of two in the overall number of patients in hospital, but 15 more patients have been moved to the ICU over the last day.
Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 15 per cent from last Tuesday, when 854 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 by about 28 per cent from 112 a week ago and up by 102 per cent from a month ago when 71 people were in the ICU.
COVID-19 waves in British Columbia
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 32,468 recorded active cases of people infected with COVID-19.
The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,554 lives lost out of 314,522 confirmed cases to date.
There are a total of 63 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term, and acute care facilities.
Acute care outbreaks include:
Surrey Memorial Hospital.
Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
Langley Memorial Hospital.
Peace Arch Hospital.
Kelowna General Hospital.
Royal Jubilee Hospital.
As of Tuesday, 89.6 per cent of those five and older in B.C. had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 83.6 per cent a second dose.
From Jan. 17 to 23, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 28.5 per cent of cases. They accounted for 29.6 per cent of hospitalizations from Jan. 10 to 23, according to the province.
A total of 1,912,122 people have received a booster shot to date.
Daily COVID-19 vaccination progress in B.C.
B.C. Green Party calls for improved public health measures
B.C. Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau says her party is urging the province to provide better tools and improve public health measures to allow residents to better protect themselves against the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
"It's important because it empowers people to be able to take the measures that best protect them from transmission," Furstenau said on CBC's The Early Edition.
She said the provincial government needs to do a better job explaining how the virus is transmitted through the air and why ventilation and high quality masks are important.
"Its not enough to say that it's airborne," Furstenau said. "You actually have to make policies that come from that."
She says she would like to see the province providing N95 masks to all health-care workers and ensuring all classrooms in B.C. have the air filtration system they need.
"Those health-care workers are employees of the government and they deserve the highest level of protection that this government can afford in a pandemic," she said.