British Columbia’s latest weekly data report shows the number of COVID-19 cases in hospitals has climbed more than 33 per cent since last Thursday.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported 485 cases in hospitals, up from 364. The number of patients in critical or intensive care climbed by just two, to 38.
“The hospitalizations are a source of concern. It means there’s more COVID in the community, it means that test positivity is higher, it means people need to take care on the one hand,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said.
“On the other hand, what we’re seeing is consistently low levels in critical care which is obviously good news for people with the most severe illness.”
Dix urged immunocompromised people and people over the age of 70 to get a fourth dose of the vaccine when eligible, and for others in B.C. to ensure they’ve had a third shot.
Thursday’s update also showed the province added another 2,036 confirmed cases over the past week, but only conducted 26,872 PCR tests, meaning the figure is likely a significant under-representation of the true case count.
British Columbia’s new weekly data reporting regime also provides information on hospital admissions, though with a one-week delay.
According to the BCCDC, 238 people were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 between April 10 and April 16.
Of them, 97 were in the Fraser Health region, 41 were in the Interior Health region, 44 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 39 were in the Vancouver Island region.
Those numbers are expected to increase in the coming days with more data collection. Thursday’s report, for example, saw the number of admissions between April 3 and April 9 revised from 233 to 289.
Officials also recorded 27 fatalities. However, the figure for deaths now includes anyone that died in the week of April 3 to April 9 who tested positive for COVI-19 within the 30 days prior. The province says the figure likely overcounts fatalities and that future “retrospective evaluations” will be conducted to better understand COVID-19 mortality.
Monthly BCCDC data continued to show unvaccinated people at a higher risk of severe outcomes.
From March 20 to April 16, per 100,000 population, there were 41.2 cases of unvaccinated people in hospitals, 7.6 unvaccinated cases in the ICU and 3.3 deaths, compared to 25.7 cases in hospitals, 3.3 cases in the ICU and 2.3 deaths among people with two doses.
Since the start of the pandemic, British Columbia has reported a total of 361,034 cases and 3,077 deaths.