COVID-19: Cases in BC hospitals are falling again, admissions are trending down

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in British Columbia has fallen to its lowest level since mid-April, according to the province’s latest weekly update.

As of Thursday, there were 473 in-hospital cases, down from 67 in a week, and 42 cases in the ICU, down from seven in a week, according to the BC Center for Disease Control.

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According to BC’s “Census” reporting model, all positive cases are counted, regardless of the reason the patient was hospitalized.

The BCCDC also reported 1,358 cases for the week ended May 21, although the actual number is likely significantly higher due to restrictions on PCR testing.

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British Columbia’s weekly data reporting system also includes information on hospitalizations and deaths, although both metrics are only current as of May 21 and are typically revised significantly upwards in subsequent weeks.

For the week ended May 21, the BCCDC reported 282 hospitalizations. Last week’s reported number of 334 registrations between May 8th and 14th has now been revised upwards by 16 percent to 388.

Admissions appear to be declining, however. Looking at the data after revisions since the end of April, registrations have fallen from 434 (April 24-30) to 391 (May 1-7) to 388 (May 8-14).

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The latest weekly data reports 42 deaths between May 15 and 21, a number that is also preliminary and is expected to be revised upwards. The figure reported last week of 59 deaths between May 8 and 14 has since been revised upwards by 45 percent to 86.

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

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Health officials have said this model likely overestimates deaths, but has yet to release a promised “retrospective assessment” to “better understand true COVID-19 mortality.”

On a per capita basis, unvaccinated people are still about twice as likely to end up in hospital than people who have had two or three shots, according to monthly data from BCCDC.

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Unvaccinated people are nearly four times as likely to be admitted to the ICU as those with three doses, or twice as likely as those with two doses.

However, mortality rates have decreased, with 8.1 unvaccinated people per 100,000 population dying, compared to 7.8 for those given two doses or 5.5 for those given three doses. However, the province’s broader definition of causes of death may affect this figure.

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

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