COVID-19: Six deaths in B.C., hospitalizations hit 500 amid new health-care outbreaks

B.C. is reporting 500 people are in hospital, and 102 are in intensive care due to COVID-19 related illness on Wednesday, Jan. 12. Legislative bureau chief Keith Baldrey has analysis, and why Global BC is changing the way COVID-19 numbers in the province are reported.

The number of people in British Columbia hospitals with COVID-19 has hit 500, just a shade shy of the all-time record of 515 set last April.

In a Wednesday update, B.C. health officials said the number of COVID-19 patients in critical or intensive care had also climbed by five overnight, to reach 102, still well below the high of 178 recorded in April.

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There were six new deaths reported Wednesday, bringing B.C.’s pandemic-related death toll to 2,455.

Officials reported another 2,859 lab-confirmed cases of the COVID, however, officials have conceded that with testing at capacity, lab-confirmed cases no longer accurately reflect the spread of the virus.

Earlier Wednesday, Fraser Health reported COVID-19 outbreaks in four new hospitals and two new care homes.

The hospital outbreaks included six patients in a psychiatry unit at Abbotsford Regional Hospital; six patients in a medicine unit at Langley Memorial Hospital; 13 patients in a surgical unit, acute care elders unit and medicine unit at Burnaby Hospital; and five patients in a patient assessment and transition home unit.

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Outbreaks at Mission Memorial Hospital Hawthorne Lodge were declared over.

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Eighty-six per cent of B.C.’s population (88.9 per cent of those eligible) have had one dose of vaccine, 80.5 per cent of B.C.’s population has had two doses (83.2 per cent of those eligible) and 25.1 per cent of B.C.’s population ( 27.9 per cent of those eligible) have had a third, booster dose.

People with two vaccine doses made up 79.9 per cent of cases over the past week, and 64.1 per cent of cases in hospital over the past two weeks.

On a per-capita basis, unvaccinated people were hospitalized at a rate of 47.2 per 100,000 people, while fully vaccinated people were hospitalized at a rate of 8.5 per 100,000 people.

Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. health officials have reported 288,939 cases.

B.C. residents in hospitals with COVID-19 include patients who test positive while in hospital and people who test positive out of hospital and later require hospitalization. Dr. Bonnie Henry said this reporting policy may be reviewed in the future.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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