COVID-19 in BC: Six deaths a day, significant jump in hospitalizations in latest weekly data

There were 42 deaths reported from April 17 to 23 and the number in hospital as of Thursday was up to 85 from a week earlier

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The latest weekly data on the COVID-19 pandemic in British Columbia paints a sobering picture of a stubbornly persistent current wave of the Omicron variant.

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Data released Thursday for the week of April 17 to 23 showed 42 newly reported deaths during that period, an average of six people dying from COVID-19 every day. Twenty-seven died in the last weekly reporting period before this one.

A total of 3,147 have died from the novel coronavirus in BC since early 2020.

Even with those 42 victims of the virus being removed from data on hospitalizations, the number of people in hospital as of Thursday rose from 485 to week ago to 570; 57 of them are in intensive care, a jump of 19 from last week.

It’s hard to know how much those increases are tied to restriction-free social gatherings over the Easter and Passover weekends, which ended at the start of the current reporting period. If an even bigger spike is looming, it might be more clearly reflected in next week’s numbers.

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Some 2,276 new cases were confirmed over the week, though that number underreports the true prevalence of COVID-19 across the province due to limited PCR testing. It brings the confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 363,302.

The Omicron subvariant BA.2 is now the predominant strain of the virus circulating both here and around the globe. It has proven to be easier to transmit between people than earlier versions of Omicron and with all the other variants.

While you can catch Omicron even if you’ve had an earlier variant of COVID and are vaccinated, public health officials say vaccination and boosters remain your best protection against severe symptoms, hospitalization and death.

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