British Columbia once again set a record for COVID-19 hospitalizations on Friday, but the jump of more than 100 cases came after the province changed the way the virus is calculated in hospital settings.
Officials reported 646 people with COVID-19 in the hospital, along with 95 people in critical or intensive care.
There were six other deaths.
The new method for counting COVID-19 in hospitals is a “record” of all positive cases, regardless of the reason for their acceptance, explained provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a conference Friday morning, admitting it was an “overestimation.”
“It involves connected people, because of COVID. “It includes people who were accidentally found to have COVID-19 and includes people who were part of an explosion or group at a hospital, so they acquired it while they were in the hospital for something else,” she said.
BC COVID-19: Hospitalization rates still rising, increased risk for unvaccinated
“Right now, about 45 percent of the people in the hospital at this point are people who were accidentally found to have COVID. It has an impact on things like hospital infection control practices. “But it also gives us a measure of where we are in terms of impact.”
Henry said the province made the difference because the previous count of hospitalizations, a composite number that partially tracked people who tested positive then sought hospitalization during the course of their illness, was too slow to respond to the number in increase in cases of the Omicron variant.
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Provincial modeling released Friday suggested BC may see the peak of new hospital admissions by the end of next week.
“It’s a very fluid situation,” she said, adding that there are currently about 45 or 50 people admitted to COVID every day.
Starting Friday, the province will present a daily “registration” number, along with a weekly “photograph” that will break down people who have been admitted because of COVID, people in the hospital who happen to have COVID, and people who receive COVID in hospital.
According to data released Friday, British Columbians who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 47 per cent of hospital admissions and 70 per cent of ICU cases.
They also accounted for more than six in 10 deaths from COVID-19 over the past month, despite representing only 10 percent of the adult BC population.
The risk of hospitalization for the unvaccinated was 12 times higher than for persons with two doses of the vaccine, while the risk of needing treatment at the ICU was 27 times higher.
As of Friday, 86.18 percent of the BC population (89 percent of those who qualify) had received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 80.66 percent of the BC population (83.3 percent of those who qualified) had two doses, and 27.43 percent percent of the BC population (30.5 percent of those who qualify) have had three doses.
2,275 new cases were confirmed, a number of officials acknowledging that it does not significantly count the spread of the virus due to testing capacity limits.
Officials reported a new outbreak at Victoria Royal Jubilee Hospital, bringing the number of hospital outbreaks to 10.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, BC has reported 293,521 cases in total, while 2,468 people have died.
Officials are expected to provide an update regarding current COVID-19 restrictions next Tuesday.
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