British Columbia has recorded seven more coronavirus-related deaths in the past 72 hours, the government said on Monday, along with a further significant increase in hospitalizations.
The health ministry said there are now 431 people hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of 23% from Friday and 55% from last Monday.
That total includes 95 intensive care patients, a 16% increase from last Monday.
A further 6,995 cases of COVID-19 were also reported over the weekend, all but four of which were confirmed by PCR testing.
The latest figures brought the seven-day average of cases down to 2,810, down about 340 from Friday, although officials warned that the daily case count does not reflect the extent of transmission in the province due to testing capacity limitations.
The Omicron wave of COVID-19 cases has seen unprecedented levels of transmission that have left testing centers overwhelmed for weeks. In the meantime, people who are fully vaccinated, have mild symptoms, and are not considered to be at higher risk for serious illness have been advised to forgo testing and stay home until their symptoms subsided. improve.
Provincial health worker Dr Bonnie Henry said the actual number of new infections occurring daily could be up to five times higher than reported.
The percentage of tests positive for COVID-19 – another metric that reflects the spread of the virus – has skyrocketed over the past month. Only 3% of tests came back positive on December 10, compared to 23.8% on Friday.
The unvaccinated continue to be overrepresented among the province’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Unvaccinated people accounted for 35.6% of hospitalizations between Dec. 24 and Jan. 6, according to the Department of Health, while this group represents less than 15% of the provincial population, including babies, toddlers. and others. children too young to be eligible for vaccination.
The unvaccinated were hospitalized at a rate of 35.5 patients per 100,000 population during this period, while those fully vaccinated were hospitalized at a rate of 5.3 percent per 100,000 population.
So far, 88.7 percent of eligible BC residents have received their first dose of the vaccine and 83.2 percent have received two. Almost 28% of adults also received a booster.
High levels of transmission have also triggered another wave of epidemics in healthcare facilities. There have been seven more since Friday, bringing the provincial total to 43 active outbreaks in these settings. As of December 22, there were none.