British Columbia recorded 24 more COVID-19-related deaths over the weekend as the number of patients testing positive in hospital neared 1,000.
The Department of Health also announced nearly 5,000 new cases on Monday, although infection figures are not currently considered accurate due to the province’s revamped testing strategy, which primarily prioritizes vulnerable people. to serious illnesses.
The 4,997 cases identified since Friday afternoon dropped British Columbia’s seven-day average to 1,982 cases per day, marking the first time it has been below 2,000 since Dec. 27. Despite the unreliability of daily case numbers, health officials said earlier this month that they transmission is declining, according to sewage testing.
The province’s number of active cases also fell to 31,822, down about 2,200 cases from Friday.
But the latest coronavirus-related deaths have pushed British Columbia’s seven-day average to nine deaths per day, the highest in almost a full year.
The total number of hospitalizations also increased by around 60 over the weekend, reaching a new high of 987. This includes so-called “accidental” cases in which a patient is admitted to hospital for unrelated reasons. with COVID-19 but tests positive during routine screening. Additionally, some of those counted in the total contracted COVID-19 as part of an acute care outbreak.
Earlier this month, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry shared a case study from Vancouver Coastal Health that found 45% of COVID-19 hospitalizations were accidental. She said the situation was likely similar at other hospitals in the province.
The number of intensive care patients with COVID-19 fell by one, to 129.
Unvaccinated people are still overrepresented in the number of hospitalizations in British Columbia, according to the ministry. This group represented about 26% of those hospitalized between January 7 and 20, although they represent less than 14% of the population.
Adjusting for age, unvaccinated people were hospitalized at a rate of 81.7 people per 100,000 population during this period, compared to 18.7 per 100,000 among fully vaccinated people.
So far, 89.6% of eligible B.C. residents aged five and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 83.6% have received two. Just over 43% of adults also received a booster dose.
There are now 313,076 identified cases of COVID-19 in British Columbia since the start of the pandemic, although the true number is likely much higher as many people have not been tested. Of those known to have had the novel coronavirus, 276,529 have recovered.
A total of 2,553 people have died. Fraser Health has recorded 18 of 24 coronavirus-related deaths that occurred from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon.
Three people who died resided in the Vancouver Coastal Health area, two lived in Northern Health and one in the interior.
The Health Ministry did not provide details on the vaccination status of the latest deceased.
Similarly, Fraser Health saw the highest number of new cases added over the weekend.
Of the total, the Department of Health said 1,702 were in this region – the most populous in British Columbia. Another 1,251 cases have been confirmed by testing at Interior Health, 862 at Vancouver Coastal Health, 626 at Island Health and 555 at Northern Health.
British Columbia’s first COVID-19 update of the week also said the province was now dealing with outbreaks at 64 health care facilities. The latest outbreaks have been declared at Evergreen House, Louis Brier Home and Hospital, Hamlets at Penticton, Mount Ida Mews, Crestview Village and Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence.
Despite the growing number of outbreaks and hospitalizations in British Columbia, officials announced last week that the province had scrapped minimum self-isolation times for many people suspected of having COVID-19, a decision which drew strong criticism, including from disability advocates.
Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix are due to hold another live update on COVID-19 at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. CTV News will broadcast the event live.
With files from Andrew Weichel of CTV News Vancouver