COVID-19 in BC: 8 deaths recorded in latest update

BC’s COVID-19-related death toll has increased by eight, the Ministry of Health announced Wednesday.

The latest deaths bring the total attributed to the coronavirus since the pandemic began to 2,953.

The number of people in hospital continued to decline in Wednesday’s update. There are now 329 test-positive COVID-19 patients in BC hospitals, a total that includes both those with serious illness and those who are admitted to hospital for other reasons and test positive incidentally.

The ministry does not distinguish between those two categories in its daily reporting of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Wednesday’s numbers showed 51 people in intensive care units in the province, an increase of one from Tuesday.

Also up by one is the number of active COVID-19 outbreaks in BC health-care facilities. A new outbreak has been declared at Surrey Memorial Hospital, bringing the province to nine ongoing outbreaks in its health-care system.

Half of the latest deaths occurred in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, while Fraser Health saw two and the Northern and Island health authorities reported one each.

The ministry does not report the vaccination status of individuals whose deaths are related to COVID-19. Data published by the BC Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard shows that unvaccinated people continue to make up a disproportionately large share of coronavirus-related deaths in the province, relative to their share of the population.

As of Wednesday, 90.7 per cent of eligible people ages five and older in BC had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 86.8 per cent had received two shots.

Among adults, 58.6 per cent have received a third dose, also known as a booster.

The latest update included 235 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, but that total reflects only those who tested positive on a lab test or were epidemiologically linked to a known case.

Most BC residents with COVID-19 symptoms do not qualify for a PCR test, and the province does not publicly release the results of self-administered rapid antigen tests.

Such tests are available for free at select pharmacies across the province. As of Tuesday, BC residents ages 40 and older can pick up one package of five rapid tests for at-home use every 28 days.

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