COVID-19: Cases in B.C. hospitals fall as 6th wave shows signs of peaking

A paramedic waits outside a COVID-19 safety control point outside Mount St. Joseph Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. Simon Little / Global News

The number of people in British Columbia hospitals with COVID-19 has fallen to its lowest point in nearly a month, according to the province’s latest weekly update.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control reported Thursday that there were 540 cases in hospital, a drop of 56 from last week, including 49 in intensive care, a drop of five.

Under B.C.’s “census” reporting model, all positive cases are counted regardless of the reason the patient was admitted to hospital.

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The BCCDC also reported 1,645 weekly cases, current as of May 14, however limited access to PCR testing means the true figure is likely much higher.

The update comes after the independent B.C. COVID-19 Modelling Group released its own report Wednesday suggesting the pandemic’s sixth wave has peaked amid growing immunity to the Omicron variant.

Under its weekly reporting regime, B.C. health officials also provide preliminary data on hospital admissions, though with a one-week delay.

Read more: COVID-19: After brief dip, cases in B.C. hospital climb again

According to the latest report, B.C. saw 334 admissions between May 8 and May 14, however, the BC CDC says the figures are provisional and expected to be revised up.

In its report, the B.C. COVID-19 Modelling Group found admission figures were typically revised up by about 20 per cent.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 hospitalizations high but stable in B.C.' COVID-19 hospitalizations high but stable in B.C.
COVID-19 hospitalizations high but stable in B.C – May 12, 2022

The latest weekly data also reports 59 deaths between May 8 and May 14, a figure that is also preliminary and expected to be revised upward. As an example, the 59 deaths detailed in the last report have since been revised upward to 84.

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The fatality figure also comes with another caveat: the province’s “all cause mortality” model includes all deaths in the reporting period who tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 30 days.

Health officials have said this model likely overestimates deaths, but has yet to release a promised “retrospective evaluation” to “better understand true COVID-19 mortality.”

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