B.C. reports 82 more people in hospital with COVID-19, 2 more in the ICU and 7 additional deaths over 3 days

·4 min read
People are pictured walking during wet and snowy weather in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday, Jan.4, 2022.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
People are pictured walking during wet and snowy weather in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday, Jan.4, 2022. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

B.C. health officials say 431 people are now in hospital with COVID-19, including 95 in intensive care, as the province reported seven more deaths from the disease and 6,966 new cases on Monday.

The new numbers represent an increase of 82 COVID-19 patients hospitalized over the last three days, including two more patients in the ICU.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 44.6 per cent from last Tuesday, when 298 people were in hospital with the disease. Hospitalizations have more than doubled compared to a month ago when 211 people were in hospital.

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 in B.C. by the numbers

The number of patients in intensive care is up by about 10.4 per cent from 86 a week ago and up by 31.9 per cent from a month ago when 72 people were in the ICU.

As of Monday, 23.8 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.

Current hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in B.C.

There are currently 34,551 recorded active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,446 lives lost out of 283,841 confirmed cases to date.

There are a total of 43 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term, and acute care facilities. The province has declared seven new outbreaks at health-care facilities. Outbreaks at Guildford Seniors Village in Surrey and Victoria General Hospital have been declared over.

Rolling average of COVID-19 cases by Health Region in Omicron wave

Outbreaks in acute care facilities are all currently in Fraser Health. They include:

  • Mission Memorial Hospital

  • Surrey Memorial Hospital

  • Eagle Ridge Hospital

  • Royal Columbian Hospital

COVID-19 infections in B.C. by vaccination status, adjusted by population and age

As of Monday, 88.7 per cent of those five and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 83.2 per cent a second dose.

From Dec. 31 to Jan. 6, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 17.8 per cent of cases and from Dec. 24 to Jan. 6, they accounted for 38.8 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

A total of 1.19 million people have received a booster shot to date.

Daily COVID-19 vaccination progress in B.C.

Students return to school

As K-12 students in B.C. return to school after an extended winter break, the provincial health officer says health officials will continue to work closely with schools as they try to keep students safe from COVID-19.

"We'll be looking at when there's absenteeism related to illness and working with the schools to be able to determine if that's because of COVID or not," Bonnie Henry said on CBC's The Early Edition. "What we are looking at is a baseline of about a 10 per cent increase in illness related to absenteeism triggering an investigation."

Key vaccination metrics in B.C. by percentage

She said because the Omicron variant is more transmissible, health officials are unable to follow every individual case and conduct contract tracing, but rapid tests and enhanced safety measures like virtual assemblies will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

"What we know about the spread of COVID is that it's unlikely to be spread in the schools," Henry said. "So the absenteeism helps us understand what's happening in the community because we know that it reflects what's happening in schools."

During the winter break, the B.C. Teachers Federation called on the province to do more to make sure students and staff are safe including prioritizing booster shots and providing N95 masks.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting