B.C. reports 28 more people in hospital with COVID-19, 5 more in the ICU and 13 more deaths

·3 min read
A pedestrian in downtown Vancouver on Oct. 4, 2021.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A pedestrian in downtown Vancouver on Oct. 4, 2021. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials reported 977 people hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday, including 141 in intensive care, as the province recorded 13 more deaths from the disease and 2,033 new cases.

The new numbers represent an increase of 28 COVID-19 patients hospitalized within the last 24 hours, including five more patients in the ICU.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 9.7 per cent from last Thursday, when 891 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 18.5 per cent from 119 a week ago and up by 114 per cent from a month ago when 66 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.

COVID-19 waves in British Columbia

As of Thursday, 22.1 per cent of COVID-19 tests in B.C. are coming back positive, according to the province's COVID-19 dashboard.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that anything above a five per cent test-positivity rate indicates a concerning level of community transmission.

There are currently 29,556 recorded active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,588 lives lost out of 318,906 confirmed cases to date.

Deaths per day due to COVID-19 in B.C., daily total and rolling average

There are a total of 61 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.

  • Royal Jubilee Hospital.

  • Victoria General Hospital.

  • Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

As of Thursday, 89.7 per cent of those five and older in B.C. had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 83.7 per cent a second dose.

A total of 2 million people have received a booster shot to date.

Daily COVID-19 vaccination progress in B.C.

More school districts requiring proof of vaccination

The Central Okanagan School District, which includes Kelowna, says it will require teachers and staff to provide proof of vaccination or otherwise undergo rapid testing, following a contentious online public debate Wednesday evening.

Trustees on the School District 23 board voted 5-2 in favour of the move.

"I think the five trustees who voted for this believe that this is the right thing to do to try and put a further layer of safety in our schools for our students," board chair Moyra Baxter told CBC Daybreak South host Chris Walker.

Staff who do not provide proof of vaccination will have to undergo tests on a regular basis. The requirement will likely take at least six weeks to implement, Baxter said.

The Peace River South School District, which covers Dawson Creek, announced Tuesday that it was introducing a similar requirement. Staff who do not provide proof of vaccination and refuse to undergo testing will be placed on unpaid leave, it said.

It follows similar decisions in Delta, Revelstoke and Nelson.

None of the policies apply to students.

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