Serious COVID-19 infections in B.C. remain high, with 146 COVID-19 patients in the province's hospital intensive care units (ICUs) – the highest number since Oct. 29.
That count is up by five since yesterday, but only marginally higher than the 145 such patients in B.C. ICUs five days ago.
Including COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals' acute-care wards, 986 people have COVID-19 in those facilities.
Some good news is that there were no new COVID-19 deaths discovered in B.C. in the past day. This comes despite the province averaging 13 such deaths in each of the first seven days of this month. The anomaly may be a reporting glitch, and a factor of how hospitals and regions report deaths. B.C. has consistently in recent weeks reported below-average COVID-19 death totals on Tuesdays.
Counts for newly discovered cases have lost value as an indicator of how widespread COVID-19 is in B.C. because vaccinated people with mild symptoms have been told to not get tested, and to simply self-isolate.
Regardless, health officials detected 1,117 new infections in the past day, raising the number of known active infections by 633, to 24,372.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has recently been stressing that older people, particularly those older than 80 years, are by far more vulnerable for serious illnesses.
That is why it is a concern that there are now 55 active outbreaks at health-care facilities or seniors' homes – a net total of two fewer than yesterday. While there has been significant churn in the known facilities with outbreaks, only one new outbreak has been declared in the past day, at Rest Haven Lodge in Sidney.
Oubreaks are newly declared over at:
• Langley Memorial Hospital;
• Cascade Lodge in Chilliwack; and
• Beacon Hill Villa in Victoria.
Unvaccinated people remain more likely to be infected, and to suffer serious disease from COVID-19 than those who have had vaccine jabs. The proportion of cases and hospitalizations among the unvaccinated, however, is much less in the current Omicron wave of the disease than it was during the previous Delta wave.
Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 23.9 per cent of cases, according to new government data. Between Jan. 24 and Feb. 6, those individuals accounted for 31.3 per cent of hospitalizations.
Provincial data show 4,499,531 B.C. residents have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 4,221,630 are considered fully vaccinated with two doses.
There were 21,037 people given booster, or third, doses of vaccine in the past three days, for a total of 2,327,036. The daily average number of new third doses is down significantly from the record 59,329 third doses provided on Jan. 13.
The B.C. government last year estimated that the province's total population is 5,147,712. Hence, Glacier Media's calculation is that 87.4 per cent of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and 82 per cent of the province's total population has had two doses. Nearly 45.2 per cent have had their booster doses. •