COVID-19 in British Columbia: Hospitalizations increase 35% in four days

The number of COVID-19 patients in British Columbia hospitals has increased by 35% in the past four days, the government revealed in the first comprehensive update on the pandemic since New Years Eve.

There are now 298 COVID-19 patients hospitalized across the province, including 86 in intensive care, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

This is against 220 hospitalizations Friday, with 73 patients in intensive care.

The majority of recent COVID-19 patients have not been vaccinated, according to the province, although this group constitutes a shrinking minority of British Columbia’s population. The unvaccinated accounted for 53.3% of hospitalizations between December 16 and 29, while the partially vaccinated and fully vaccinated represented 1.7% and 45% respectively.

“A lot of people will get sick and we are seeing it now,” Provincial health worker Dr. Bonnie Henry said at a press conference earlier today. “But your vaccine will protect most people from serious illness and hospitalization.”

Just over 88 percent of eligible B.C. residents aged five and over have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 83 percent have received two. Almost 21% of people 12 years of age and older also received a booster dose.

Less than 15% of British Columbia’s population is still unvaccinated, including babies, toddlers and toddlers who are still ineligible.

The province also announced 2,542 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The number of daily cases is believed to be severely underreported due to limits in testing capacity, but Tuesday’s update was still high enough to push British Columbia’s seven-day average to a new high history of 3,285 cases per day.

Active cases also rose to a record 27,106, up more than 6,000 from Friday, and there were four more coronavirus-related deaths during that period, bringing the death toll in the province to 2,427.

The Department of Health did not provide an updated total of Omicron cases, but Henry said the variant now accounts for 80% of infections in British Columbia.

She urged companies to prepare for significant staff shortages due to unprecedented levels of transmission in the province, warning workplaces could cut up to a third of staff at a time due to infections. and exhibitions.

“We have to adapt the businesses so that we can operate with this small workforce,” Henry said. “In the transmission standoff, Omicron has the advantage.”

Officials said they are not planning additional COVID-19 restrictions like those implemented in Ontario and Quebec, but the public should take personal precautions.

Individuals are also encouraged to conduct their own contact tracing in some cases. Henry said the speed at which Omicron spreads, combined with its shorter incubation period, made effective contact tracing in British Columbia impossible.

Widespread transmission has also led to a resurgence of epidemics in health facilities. The Department of Health announced nine more on Tuesday, at Surrey Memorial Hospital, The Residence in Mission, Czorny Alzheimer Center, Hawthorne Lodge, Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Center, Fraserview Retirement Community, Lakeview Care Center, Mount Cartier Court and Victoria General Hospital, bringing the provincial total to 24.

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