COVID-19: Cases in B.C. hospitals tick up, virus still killing about 3 per day

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Where is B.C. at in the pandemic heading into the fall season?'
COVID-19: Where is B.C. at in the pandemic heading into the fall season?
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides an overview of the COVID-19 situation in British Columbia as many start back to school and work after summer vacation. Henry says we have a "very uncertain trajectory" heading into fall respiratory illness season, and coordinated efforts still need to be made as COVID continues to be with us for the long term – Sep 6, 2022

The number of patients with COVID-19 in B.C. hospitals ticked upward this week, as admissions showed signs of continuing their downward trend.

As of Sept. 8, there were 324 cases in hospital, a one-week increase of 18, while the number of cases in critical care fell by three to 22, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

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B.C.’s hospitalization model counts all cases in hospital, regardless of their reason for admission.

The test positivity rate in B.C. as of Sept. 3 was 7.3 per cent, down from a sixth-wave high of 13 per cent in late July, and the lowest it has been since late June.

Trend lines for hospital admissions also continued to show improvement.

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For the week ending Sept. 3, there were 147 COVID-positive admissions across the province, though this data is preliminary and expected to be revised up next week.

For context, the BCCDC originally reported 160 COVID-19 hospital admissions between Aug. 21 and Aug. 27. That number has now been revised to 198, an increase of 23.7 per cent.

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Covid killing just under three British Columbians per day

For the period ending Sept. 3, the BCCDC also reported 22 deaths, though this figure is fraught with several caveats.

Like admissions, deaths are typically revised upward the following week.

However, B.C. counts all deaths that occurred within 30 days of a patient testing positive for COVID-19, a statistic it acknowledges significantly over-counts fatalities.

Later analysis of deaths through the spring and summer has revealed that fewer than half of deaths initially counted as COVID-19 actually had the virus as their underlying cause.

The latest B.C. COVID-19 surveillance report reviews the underlying cause of death in fatalities between April 2, when B.C. moved to the “all-cause mortality” model, and Aug. 27.

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The province initially reported 1,152 COVID-19 deaths in that period. A subsequent review has determined that 439 — 38 per cent — of those deaths were actually caused by the virus, while 591 were not caused by the virus. A further 122 remain under investigation.

Those figures suggest an average of 2.96 British Columbians continue to die of COVID per day.

The vast majority of those deaths, 69 per cent, were among people aged 80 and over. Just 28 of the deaths since April 2, or six per cent, were among people younger than 60.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated COVID-19 was killing about 3.75 British Columbians per day. In fact, the correct number is just under three. Global News regrets the error. 

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