Number of COVID-19 patients in critical care rises to 28, as B.C. hospitalizations, deaths continue to fall

·3 min read
Licensed practical nurse Femia Gabiana, left, administers a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a man at a walk-in vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park in Surrey, B.C., in this 2021 file photo. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Licensed practical nurse Femia Gabiana, left, administers a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a man at a walk-in vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park in Surrey, B.C., in this 2021 file photo. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Another 26 people died in B.C. last week after testing positive for COVID-19, while the number of patients in hospital with the disease has fallen by three, according to the province's latest reports on the pandemic.

As of Thursday, 273 people are in hospital with the novel coronavirus, including 28 in intensive care, according to the B.C. COVID-19 dashboard.

That's a decrease of just one per cent in overall hospitalizations from last Thursday, when the province reported 276 people in hospital. The number of people in ICU is up 47 per cent, from 19 patients a week ago.

The government says its weekly report numbers are preliminary. It has been retroactively adjusting them due to delays in the count and the new way in which it measures weekly cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

The numbers released Thursday are part of an approach from B.C. health officials started earlier this year, both in the move to weekly reporting and in how certain metrics are calculated.

'B.C. has enough vaccine and appointments'

As vaccination efforts continue, provincial statistics show more than 55,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered from June 12-18.

As of June 18, roughly 2.8 million British Columbians have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 1.29 million people have not received their first booster, the health ministry said in a statement Thursday.

This week, some residents criticized the slow roll-out of fourth doses in B.C. compared to almost every other province. On Thursday, the health ministry confirmed 214,304 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are set to expire between July 20-23.

"B.C. has enough vaccine and appointments to meet this demand for all vaccines," including first and second doses, boosters, and shots for children age 5-11 who are eligible to be immunized, the province said in a statement.

"We urge all British Columbians to book their vaccination, and/or booster, and make getting the vaccine part of their plans," a ministry spokesperson said. "It will significantly lower your risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19."

Other data related to the pandemic is available in a report from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, which tracks cases, hospital admissions and deaths between June 12-18.

It shows that 642 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in that time, based solely on lab-reported results, for a total of 373,974 cases to date. Almost 40 per cent of the new recorded cases were in the Fraser Health region.

The report shows that the number of new cases is down by about 12 per cent from 726 in the previous week. However, because testing is now quite limited, the province cautions that the case count underestimates the true number of people with COVID-19 in B.C.

A total of 156 people were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 between June 12-18, according to the BCCDC, nearly half of them in the Fraser Health region.

BCCDC
BCCDC

Test positive rates rise, highest on Vancouver Island and Northern B.C.

According to the latest weekly report, 26 more people died between June 12-18, a figure that is being reported in a very different way from in the past.

Those deaths include everyone who died within 30 days of testing positive for COVID-19, whether or not the virus has been confirmed as an underlying cause of death. Previously, each death was investigated to determine if COVID-19 was a cause.

Test positivity rates are up, hitting an average 7.6 per cent provincewide on Saturday, compared to 6.9 per cent the previous week.

Positivity rates range from as high as nearly 14 per cent in the Vancouver Island and Northern health regions to as low as 6.2 per cent in Fraser Health region, according to the province's dashboard. The province administered more than 12,000 tests in the last reported week.

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 transmission.

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