42 more deaths and 85 more people hospitalized with COVID-19, BCCDC says in its weekly report

Forty-two people died in BC after testing positive for COVID-19 last week, and hospitalizations and intensive care admissions have risen, according to the BC Center for Disease Control’s weekly report on the pandemic.

On Thursday, 570 people will be hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 47 people will be in intensive care, according to the BC COVID-19 dashboard.

That’s a 17 percent increase in hospital admissions from last Thursday, when 485 people were hospitalized because of the virus. The number of intensive care admissions has increased by 23.6 percent compared to last week, when 38 people were in intensive care.

The numbers released Thursday are part of a new approach from BC health officials, both in transitioning to weekly reporting and in the way certain metrics are calculated.

Other data related to the pandemic is available in the report from the BC Center for Disease Control, which tracks cases, hospitalizations and deaths between April 17 and 23 this week.

According to the province, 42 people died within a month of a positive COVID-19 test during that period. The BCCDC notes in its report that the number of hospitalizations and deaths is tentative and likely to increase.

The report published Thursday shows that 2,726 new cases of COVID-19 were reported during that time, based solely on lab results, for a total of 363,302 cases to date.

That’s an increase of 11.7 percent from last week, when 2,036 cases were reported. However, due to changes in testing, the county says the number of cases likely underestimates the true number of people living with COVID-19 in BC

A total of 355 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized between April 17 and 23, according to the BCCDC.

COVID-19 levels in wastewater rising

The death count in BC’s weekly reporting includes everyone who died within 30 days of testing positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not the virus has been confirmed as the underlying cause of death. Previously, each death was examined to determine whether COVID-19 was a cause.

Test positivity rates in the province are trending upward, reaching 11 percent across BC on April 23, up from 9.8 percent the week before.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that anything above a five percent test position is an indicator of a more worrisome level of transmission.

Wastewater tests at five different treatment plants, representing 50 percent of BC’s population, show viral loads increased faster than reported cases over the past four to five weeks, suggesting an increasing number of unreported COVID-19 cases as a result of reduced diagnostic testing in the community, according to the BCCDC situation report.

Provincial statistics show that more than 33,954 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered from April 17 to 23.

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