The number of people in B.C. hospitals with COVID-19 has increased by 61, or 22.3%, in the past week, to 334.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry earlier today said that about half of those deemed COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals are there primarily because of the disease. The other half, Henry said, were "incidental" cases, where the patients were tested as a matter of precaution within the hospitals and it was determined that they were carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease.
Of those, 35 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units (ICUs), and the vast majority of those people entered hospital because of their infection, she said.
There has not been fewer COVID-19 patients in B.C. ICUs since last August.
No data was provided for how many people have died from COVID-19 in the past day, and it will not be provided until April 7, when a new system for counting deaths will be put in place.
The province on April 7 will also move to a new weekly data reporting system, and end its daily data updates.
Henry explained that for many metrics, seven-day data give a better picture of what is happening than do data provided daily.
One problem with the new weekly updates is that the counting systems for deaths is changing in a way that will over-report the number of presumed COVID-19 deaths.
The current system uses what health officials call "line lists," where each new death is investigated manually to determine if it was due to COVID-19 before the death is added to the provincial COVID-19 death toll, which now sits at 3,002.
The future system will report all new deaths of people who at some point in the past 30 days had tested positive for COVID-19. Then, perhaps a month or more later, information from the province's Vital Statistics Agency will enable officials to remove deaths deemed not due to COVID-19 from the province's total.
This means that the running tally will always include some over-reported deaths from the previous month.
Two new outbreaks at health-care facilities include the Overlander assisted-living facility in Kamloops, and Cowichan District Hospital in Duncan. That raises the number of active outbreaks in B.C. to 12.
Vaccinations help limit the spread of the disease that spawned a multi-year global pandemic, and help to reduce the seriousness of infections that do occur.
The vast majority of British Columbians are already vaccinated, and new vaccinations are ongoing. In the past day, 349 residents received their first dose of vaccine, while 583 received their second doses, and 1,787 received third doses of vaccine.
In total, 4,529,972 eligible B.C. residents have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 4,358,529 are considered fully vaccinated with two doses, and 2,677,473 have had three doses.
Recent Statistics Canada 2021 census data counted 5,000,879 residents in B.C.
Glacier Media's calculation therefore is that more than 90.5 per cent of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 87.1% per cent of the province's total population has had two doses. More than 53.5 per cent have had their third, or booster doses.
B.C. officials counted 258 new infections in the past day, but those counts are widely seen as not accurate because health officials have been telling vaccinated people with mild symptoms to stay home and not get tested so as to leave testing capacity for those who are more vulnerable of serious infections. •