COVID hospitalizations rise in BC

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The number of COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals continued to climb on Tuesday, adding to the pandemic's ongoing strain on health-care resources that has already resulted in hundreds of delayed surgeries in recent weeks.

B.C.'s Ministry of Health announced there are now 332 coronavirus patients hospitalized across the province, a jump of 25 from Monday. The number of those patients in intensive care remained relatively flat at 155, however.

Earlier in the day, Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed there were 798 non-urgent surgeries postponed between Sept. 5 and 18 due to the influx of coronavirus admissions.

"Every one of those surgeries is medically necessary," Dix said. "Every one of those surgeries will be done. But they've had to be delayed because of COVID-19 pressures on our hospitals."

That pressure was preventable, the health minister said, and can still be alleviated if more residents get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"It is essential those who have not been vaccinated and are eligible to be vaccinated make the decision we are all counting on them to make," Dix said.

Of the patients battling COVID-19 in ICUs on Tuesday, 94 per cent are not fully vaccinated, according to the province. 

Officials also announced 525 new cases of COVID-19 and one related death on Tuesday. The province has now identified 180,178 infections and suffered 1,900 deaths since the start of the pandemic.