British Columbia reported the fewest patients with COVID-19 in hospital in more than a year on Thursday.
As of Jan. 26, there were 228 positive cases in hospital, down from 268 the week prior. There were 22 cases in critical care, up five from last week, according to data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
This is the fewest cases recorded in hospital since the province moved to its “census” model of hospital reporting on Jan. 14, 2022, which counts all patients with COVID-19 regardless of the reason they were admitted to hospital.
For comparison, there were 949 cases in hospital on Jan. 26, 2022, as the province grappled with the first wave of the Omicron variant.
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For the week ending Jan. 21, 2023, the seven-day rolling average of test-positivity was down provincewide and in each health region over the week prior.
The B.C.-wide rate sat at 11.5 per cent, while the interior had the lowest rate at 8.9 per cent and Vancouver Island had the highest rate at 13.3.
Access to lab testing remains restricted to the most at-risk people in the province, and the BCCDC conducted fewer than 4,700 tests that week.
For the week ending Jan. 21, the BCCDC reported 104 hospital admissions, though this figure is preliminary and typically revised upward by more than 20 per cent the following week.
The BCCDC also reported 27 COVID-related deaths, though this figure requires significant interpretation.
Like hospital admissions it is typically revised upward the following week, however, it also includes anyone who died within 30 days of their first positive test — a metric the province admits significantly overcounts fatalities.
Further review, which typically takes about eight weeks, has revealed only about four in 10 deaths counted this way were actually caused by COVID.
Of the 2,026 fatalities reported as COVID deaths under this metric since April 1, just 798 were later found to have been actually caused by the virus. Another 1,039 were found not to have been caused by COVID, while 189 remain under investigation.
The BCCDC’s latest situation report has confirmed at least 74 COVID-19 deaths between Oct. 30 and Nov. 26, 2022, an average of about 2.6 per day.
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