COVID-19 numbers in B.C. holding steady, according to the province's latest weekly report

·3 min read
A nurse provides a COVID-19 vaccination to a child during the first week of immunization for children between six months and four years at a Vancouver Coastal Health clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
A nurse provides a COVID-19 vaccination to a child during the first week of immunization for children between six months and four years at a Vancouver Coastal Health clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

British Columbia is reporting a slight increase in patients in critical care and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, according to the latest pandemic data provided by health authorities on Thursday.

Despite the uptick in patients in critical care and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, fewer new patients were admitted to hospital with the disease when compared to the previous week.

As of Thursday, the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard shows 410 people are in hospital, including 38 people in critical care.

That's an increase of 2.2 per cent in overall hospitalizations from last Thursday when the province reported 401 people in hospital. The number of patients in ICU is up 8.6 per cent from 35 a week ago.

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

Hospitalizations:

 

COVID-19 related deaths are down by one. A total of 28 people died within a month of testing positive between July 24-30, according to the province. Most pandemic data provided Thursday covers the week ending July 30.

The number of new patients admitted to both hospital and intensive care fell from last week, by 14 and 22 per cent, respectively.

The government says its weekly numbers are preliminary. They are often retroactively modified due to delays in the count and the new way in which it measures weekly cases, hospitalizations and deaths, although the statistics do provide a snapshot of the disease's impact from week to week.

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

For instance, deaths are recorded if a person died within 30 days of a positive COVID-19 test, whether or not the virus was confirmed as an underlying cause of death.

A total of 983 new cases were recorded as of July 30, for a total of 379,274 cases, based solely on lab-reported tests. However, because testing is limited, the province says the case count underestimates the actual number of people with the disease.

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

Deaths:

Positivity rates, wastewater data stabilize

Test positivity rates provincewide at 11.1 per cent for the week ending July 30 showed no change from last week, according to the provincial dashboard.

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.

Provincial data as of July 23 shows that the BA.5 Omicron sub-variant was responsible for most cases. The immune-evasive variant is the main cause of the ongoing third wave of Omicron, according to the province.

Rolling average, COVID-19 wastewater concentration in Metro Vancouver treatment plants

Wastewater:

 

Wastewater testing at five different treatment plants, representing 50 percent of B.C.'s population, shows viral loads increasing in Fraser Health compared to last week after a month of previous declines.

But in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, wastewater results were mixed; Vancouver's plant detecting rising viral loads, while Richmond and the North Shore plants saw marked drops.

B.C. is now edging closer to 4,000 COVID-19 deaths, with 3,940 deaths recorded as of July 30.

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