COVID-19: B.C. reports 13 more deaths, number in hospital nears 500

Click to play video: 'B.C. premier hints at COVID-19 changes'
B.C. premier hints at COVID-19 changes
B.C. Premier John Horgan seemed to hint that the province might be dropping its mask requirement before spring break. Keith Baldrey has more – Mar 3, 2022

British Columbia health officials reported another 13 COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday, as the number of people in hospital continued to fall towards 500.

Officials reported 511 positive cases in B.C. hospitals, down six overnight, while the number of patients in critical or intensive care ticked up by six to 79.

There were 21 ongoing outbreaks in health-care facilities, 19 of which were in long-term care homes.

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Read more: B.C. committed to making changes to COVID-19 restrictions by spring break, if possible

Officials also confirmed 391 new cases, though daily new case counts no longer reflect the spread of the virus given limitations on testing.

As of Thursday, 87.7 per cent of B.C.’s population (90.6 per cent of those eligible) had received one dose of vaccine, 83.6 per cent of the population (86.3 per cent of those eligible) had received two doses, and 48.6 per cent of the population (57.9 per cent of those eligible) had received three doses.

People with two or more doses accounted for 80.4 per cent of cases over the past week and 65.6 per cent of cases in hospital over the past two weeks.

Data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control continues to show unvaccinated people at a far higher risk of severe outcomes.

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From Jan. 29 to Feb. 25, per 100,000 population, there were 145.2 unvaccinated cases in hospital, 38.7 unvaccinated cases in ICU and 17.7 deaths among the unvaccinated, compared to 47.6 vaccinated (two dose) cases in hospital, 11.6 vaccinated cases in ICU and 7.6 deaths among people with two doses.

Earlier this week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province was looking at relaxing remaining COVID-19 restrictions by spring break, raising speculation the province could drop its vaccine passport program and mask mandate for indoor public places.

British Columbia is among the last provinces in Canada to remove such restrictions.

Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. has reported a total of 349,604 cases, while 2,896 people have died.

Click to play video: 'B.C. among last provinces to drop vaccine card and mask mandate'
B.C. among last provinces to drop vaccine card and mask mandate

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