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COVID-19: B.C. reports seven new deaths, sets new hospitalization record

Global News logo Global News 2022-01-13 Simon Little

A record number of British Columbians were in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday, as health officials confirmed another seven deaths from the virus.

The number of infectious cases in hospital climbed by 34 to 534, eclipsing the record of 515 set in April, 2021.

The number of people in critical or intensive care remained unchanged at 102.

Officials recorded five new outbreaks in care facilities, leaving the province with 53 outbreaks in health-care settings -- nine of which were in hospitals.

Officials reported another 2,554 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, with at least 36,049 active cases province-wide.

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COVID-19: Six deaths in B.C., hospitalizations hit 500 amid new health-care outbreaks

However, with PCR testing rationed to at-risk groups and B.C.'s testing system at capacity, officials have conceded daily case numbers do not reflect the true spread of the virus.

As of Jan. 11, nearly one in four people presenting for a PCR test (23.1 per cent) returned a positive test.

The province says 86.1 per cent of B.C.'s population (88.9 per cent of those eligible) has had one dose of vaccine, 80.6 per cent of B.C.'s population (83.3 per cent of those eligible) have had two doses, and 26.2 per cent of B.C.'s population (29.2 per cent of those eligible) have had three doses.

Fully vaccinated people accounted for 79 per cent of cases over the past week, and 65.5 per cent of hospitalizations over the past week. However on a per-capita basis, data shows the unvaccinated continue to be disproportionately affected by severe COVID-19 outcomes.

Earlier Thursday, the province cut the wait time for pregnant people to get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine down to eight weeks after their second dose, from the previous six months.

Anyone eligible is urged to call the Get Vaccinated hotline and advise the call taker that they are pregnant.

Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. has reported 291,493 cases of COVID, while 2,462 people have died.

B.C. residents in hospitals with COVID-19 include patients who test positive while in hospital and people who test positive out of hospital and later require hospitalization. Dr. Bonnie Henry said this reporting policy may be reviewed in the future.

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