COVID-19 hospitalizations still rising on Vancouver Island, no new deaths added

The number of people requiring hospital care for COVID-19 on Vancouver Island rose over the past 24 hours, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

There are currently 112 people in hospital for treatment of the illness in Island Health, up from 101 reported Thursday and 65 confirmed last week on Jan. 21.

The number of patients receiving intensive care remains unchanged, however, with 11 reported on Friday, the same total confirmed on Thursday and Jan. 21.

Around this time last month, on Dec. 29, 38 people were in hospital for treatment of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, including 12 patients who required critical care.

Nine deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in B.C. Friday, none of which occurred in the island region.

Since the pandemic began, 2,597 people have died of COVID-19 in the province including 168 in Island Health.

NEW CASES

According to the BCCDC, 332 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Island Health Friday.

The new cases were among 1,634 new cases confirmed across the province over the past 24 hours.

Those totals differ from a statement released by the B.C. Ministry of Health, which reported 2,137 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 264 in the island region.

The Ministry of Health says its totals are provisional "due to a delayed data refresh" and may change once verified.

Health officials say that while confirmed tests are only a fraction of B.C's total number of COVID-19 cases, the totals are an indicator of transmission rates in the province.

As of Friday, there are 30,012 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 1,722 active cases in the island region, according to the BCCDC.

VACCINATIONS

Approximately 89.8 per cent of eligible British Columbians aged five and older have now received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 83.8 per cent have received two doses.

Meanwhile, 43.9 per cent of eligible B.C. residents aged 12 and older have received three doses.

2 YEARS WITH COVID

Earlier Friday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix held a live briefing marking the two-year anniversary of B.C.'s first pandemic news conference.

At the briefing, Henry noted that the province had been doing relatively well keeping COVID-19-related hospitalizations and fatalities low, even as case counts rise in B.C.

British Columbia has a lower daily hospitalization census rate per 100,000 people compared to Manitoba, Quebec, Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, according to health officials.

"No, I did not think we would be in this phase of the (pandemic) journey for this long," said Henry on Friday. "But it is something we need to accept."

However, Henry suggested that some pandemic restrictions may be lifted around Family Day, Feb. 21.

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