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B.C. hospital occupancy continuing to rise

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 5:28 PST, Tue January 11, 2022

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in B.C., with 469 people with active cases currently in hospital.

Health Minister Adrian Dix, during a press conference today, said that the province’s base hospital bed capacity is now 95.6 per cent occupied (8,821 of 9,229), with 24.9 per cent (580 of 2,353) of surge beds occupied. While Dix said a field hospital will not be established at this time, there are options available including the Vancouver Convention Centre, which served as a makeshift hospital space earlier in the pandemic.

In all, there are 36,087 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Of the 469 cases in hospital, 97 are in intensive care. 

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the majority of hospitalizations and intensive care admissions continue to be among the unvaccinated. Of those currently in intensive care, three are unvaccinated people in their 20s and one in their 30s.

“If you are vaccinated, you have less risk of infection, particularly after your booster. You’re much more likely to have mild illness, to not need hospital care, to not need ICU care, and to not die from this virus. And the risk that you’re going to pass it on to others is dramatically reduced compared to people who don’t have that protection,” she said.

Health officials also reported 2,239 new cases of COVID-19 today. Since the pandemic began, B.C. has recorded 286,080 cases.

Of the new cases, 383 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 807 in the Fraser Health region, 562 in the Island Health region, 318 in the Interior Health region, 167 in the Northern Health region and two new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

To date, 9,775,058 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Pfizer Pediatric COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C.; 4,146,540 of those are second doses and 1,239,995 are third doses. 

This means that 92.6 per cent of adults, 92.2 per cent of people aged 12 and older and 88.8 per cent of people aged five and older have received their first dose of a vaccine. In addition, 89.9 per cent of adults, 89.4 per cent of those aged 12 and older and 83.2 per cent of those aged five and older have received two doses; 28.6 per cent of adults and 26.8 per cent of those aged 12-plus have received three doses.

Sadly, there were three new virus-related deaths reported today, bringing that total to 2,449. Of those who died, one lived in the Fraser Health region, one in the Interior Health region and one in the Northern Health region.

Health authorities reported four new health-care facility outbreaks and declared two over. Active outbreaks continue at 40 long-term care facilities (including Richmond’s Fraserview Retirement Community), one assisted or independent living facility and four acute care facilities.

From Jan. 3 to 9, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 19.4 per cent of cases. From Dec. 27 to Jan. 9, they accounted for 35.6 per cent of hospitalizations.

Past week cases (Jan. 3 to 9)—Total 19,206

• Not vaccinated: 3,125 (16.3 per cent)

• Partially vaccinated: 597 (3.1 per cent)

• Fully vaccinated: 15,484 (80.6 per cent)

Past two weeks cases hospitalized (Dec. 27 to Jan. 9)—Total 422

• Not vaccinated: 135 (32.0 per cent)

• Partially vaccinated: 15 (3.6 per cent)

• Fully vaccinated: 272 (64.4 per cent)

Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (Jan. 3 to 9)

• Not vaccinated: 462.5

• Partially vaccinated: 195.4

• Fully vaccinated: 336.1

Past two weeks, cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (Dec. 27 to Jan. 9)

• Not vaccinated: 33.1

• Partially vaccinated: 11.7

• Fully vaccinated: 5.8

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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