COVID-19: Hospitalization down in B.C. while weekly critical care admissions rise

People wear face masks as they attend an outdoor event in Montreal, Sun. Sept. 20, 2020. The BC Centre for Disease Control has reported another 142 patients in hospitals across the province who tested positive for COVID-19 between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10, 2022. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

New weekly hospital admissions with COVID-19 have decreased since the beginning of September, but the number of new critical care admissions has seen a slight uptick.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, between Sept. 4 and 10, another 142 patients in hospitals had tested positive for the virus — down from 180 in the previous reporting period.

As of Thursday, there were 314 COVID-positive patients in hospitals across the province. It’s a decrease from the 324 recorded on Sept. 8.

Between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, the number of new critical care admissions due to COVID-19 was 26. Another 31 were detected between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10, the BC CDC reports.

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Its COVID-19 dashboard, updated to Sept. 15, shows 23 patients are currently in critical care.

Fewer patients died within 30 days of testing positive for COVID-19 than in the previous reporting period. Between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, the BC CDC reported 36 such deaths, compared to 16 in the latest reporting period.

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The 30-day mortality numbers do confirm that COVID-19 was the cause of death; earlier this month, the centre reported an average of just over four in 10 deaths linked to the virus between April and mid-August were actually caused by it.

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There are 574 new cases of COVID-19 on the BC CDC’s radar, the bulk of which continue to be concentrated in the Fraser Health region, followed by the Vancouver Coastal and Interior Health areas. That’s down from the 617 reported between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3.

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The BC CDC’s weekly pandemic numbers are subject to change as more data becomes available and often increase between reporting periods. The numbers presented Thursday are not a true representation of COVID-19 infections in the province, as testing for the virus is limited.

As it stands, more than 12.3 million doses of vaccine have been administered in B.C., more than half a million of which were fourth doses.

The latest numbers came Thursday as the B.C. government issued a bulletin saying COVID-19 vaccination requirements remain in place for all workers in the health-care system, including hospital, community and residential care workers.

The requirement does not apply to regulated professionals who do not work in those settings, such as dentists, naturopathic doctors and opticians.

The statement from the Ministry of Health adds that the spread of illnesses is expected to increase again this fall and winter and the potential for another COVID-19 variant of concern to emerge “remains a real concern.”

– with files from The Canadian Press

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