COVID-19: Cases in B.C. hospitals hold steady, but admissions trending down

B.C. has more than 225,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine that are set to expire next month. This as the province still has no plan to provide most people under the age of 70 with a fourth dose. Richard Zussman has more.

After several weeks of marked declines, the number of people with COVID-19 in British Columbia hospitals held nearly steady over the past week, but the number of admissions appears to be trending steadily downward.

As of Thursday there were 273 cases in hospital, a one-week decline of just three, and 28 cases in intensive care, a one-week increase of nine, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

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Under B.C.’s “census” reporting model, all positive cases are counted regardless of the reason the patient was admitted to hospital.

The BCCDC also reported 642 cases for the week ending June 18, though due to restrictions on PCR testing the true figure is likely significantly higher.

Just over 12,200 tests were performed the week ending June 18, and the province-wide test positivity rate was 7.3 per cent. That’s less than a third of at the peak of the sixth wave, but still higher than any other time in the pandemic than around the 2021 new year or March to April, 2021.

Read more:

B.C. not suspending vaccine mandate for public sector, health-care workers

British Columbia’s weekly data reporting regime also provides information on hospital admissions and deaths, though both metrics are only current as of June 18, and are typically revised upward significantly in following weeks.

For the week ending June 18, the BCCDC reported 156 hospital admissions. For context, the figure reported last Thursday, 189 admissions between May June 5 and June 11, has now been revised up by 16 per cent to 220.

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Admissions do, however, appear to be trending downward. Looking revised data since the end of April, weekly admissions have been nearly halved, falling from 434 (Apr. 24 to Apr.30) to 220 (June 5 to June 11.)

The latest weekly data reports 26 deaths between June 12 and June 18, a figure that is also preliminary and expected to be revised upward. The figure reported last Thursday of 60 deaths between June 5 and June 11 has since been revised upward by 22 per cent to 61.

Read more:

COVID-19: Hospital admissions, case count continue downward spiral in B.C.

Additionally, the way the province now tracks deaths, dubbed “all cause mortality,” includes all deaths in the reporting period among those who tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 30 days.

Health officials have said this model likely overestimates deaths, but have yet to make public promised “retrospective evaluations” to “better understand true COVID-19 mortality.”

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