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9 deaths, thousands more cases in latest B.C. COVID-19 update


B.C.'s latest COVID-19 pandemic update includes nine more deaths attributed to the disease, as well as thousands more cases as the province's Omicron variant wave continues.

The Ministry of Health said Friday that 3,144 new cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed through PCR testing or epidemiologically linked to known cases in the last 24 hours.

Because B.C.'s testing system is currently overwhelmed by the spread of the coronavirus, the true number of new infections is likely higher.

There are currently 33,184 active, lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C., an all-time high since the pandemic began.

The number of people in hospital with the coronavirus rose again on Friday. There are now 349 infectious patients in hospital with the disease in B.C. Ninety-three of them are in intensive care units.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday that hospitalization numbers include both people who are hospitalized because of severe symptoms from the coronavirus, as well as those who test positive after arriving at hospitals for other reasons, such as people who test positive as part of an acute care outbreak.

Henry did not provide a breakdown Friday of how many hospitalized people fit in each category. The province is currently working on a "deep dive" into hospitalization data, including the effects of Omicron on hospitalizations. The provincial health officer promised an update on hospitalizations next week. 

Two new COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared in health-care settings since the ministry's last update, one at Surrey Memorial Hospital and the other at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge.

There are currently 38 ongoing outbreaks in B.C. health-care facilities. 

Five of the deaths reported Friday occurred in the Fraser Health region, while Vancouver Coastal Health and Island Health saw two each. There have been 2,439 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began.

The province does not report the vaccination status of people who die from COVID-19 on a daily basis, but the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard indicates that unvaccinated people accounted for 70 per cent of the 56 deaths recorded in the province between Dec. 7 and Jan. 3. 

As of Friday, 88.5 per cent of B.C. residents ages five and older have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 83.1 per cent have received two doses.

The province has administered third doses to 25.2 per cent of adults, according to Friday's update. Top Stories

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