BC’s latest COVID-19 pandemic update includes nine additional deaths attributed to the disease, as well as thousands more as the wave of Omicron variants continues in the province.
The health ministry said on Friday that 3,144 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed through PCR testing or epidemiologically linked to known cases in the past 24 hours.
As BC’s testing system is currently overrun by the spread of the coronavirus, the true number of new infections is likely to be higher.
There are currently 33,184 active, lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in BC, a record high since the start of the pandemic.
The number of people in hospital with the corona virus rose again on Friday. There are now 349 infectious patients hospitalized with the disease in BC Ninety-three of them are in intensive care units.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday that the number of hospital admissions includes both people who have been hospitalized for severe symptoms of the coronavirus, as well as those who test positive after arriving at hospitals for other reasons, such as people who test positive as part of an acute care outbreak.
Henry did not provide a breakdown of the number of hospitalized people who fit into each category on Friday. The province is currently working on a “deep dive” into hospitalization data, including Omicron’s effects on hospitalizations. The provincial health official promised an update on the hospitalizations next week.
Since the Ministry’s last update, two new COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in the healthcare sector, one at Surrey Memorial Hospital and the other at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge.
There are currently 38 ongoing outbreaks in health centers in BC.
Five of the deaths reported Friday occurred in the Fraser Health region, while Vancouver Coastal Health and Island Health saw two each. Since the start of the pandemic, 2,439 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in BC.
The county does not report daily vaccination status for people who die from COVID-19, but the BC Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard indicates that unvaccinated people were responsible for 70 percent of the county’s 56 recorded deaths between December 7 and January 3.
As of Friday, 88.5 percent of BC residents age five and older have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 83.1 percent have received two doses.
According to Friday’s update, the province has administered the third dose to 25.2 percent of adults.