Skip to main content

COVID-19 update: B.C. reports 18 deaths as hospitalizations drop below 1,000


The B.C. government announced 18 new deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday, as the number of test-positive patients in hospital dropped below 1,000.

There have now been 2,643 coronavirus-related deaths confirmed across the province since the start of the pandemic, according to the Ministry of Health.

Seven of the latest deaths were recorded in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, six were in the Island Health region, four were in the Fraser Health region and one was in the Interior Health region.

Meanwhile, the number of patients with COVID-19 dropped to 988, down from 1,035 on Tuesday. That includes incidental patients who were hospitalized for reasons unrelated to the disease, but tested positive during routine screening.

The number of patients in intensive care also fell slightly, to 136.

Earlier this week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry revealed the majority of vaccinated Omicron patients fall into the incidental category. Unvaccinated Omicron patients were slightly more likely to be hospitalized for reasons related to COVID-19 than not.

Henry also said COVID-19 hospital admissions appear to have peaked, following the downward trend in confirmed cases that began weeks ago.

Another 1,776 cases were announced Wednesday, pushing B.C.'s seven-day average to a five-week low of 1,608. Daily case numbers have not been considered reliable since the province began discouraging most people from getting PCR tested, though officials believe transmission is decreasing due to a number of other measures, including test-positivity and wastewater screening.

The unvaccinated continue to be over-represented in case numbers and hospitalizations, making up 20 per cent of cases from Jan. 25 to 31 and 26.7 per cent of hospitalizations from Jan. 18 to 31 – despite only accounting for less than 14 per cent of the population.

So far, 90 per cent of eligible B.C. residents age five or older have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 84.1 per cent have received two. Booster shots have also been administered to 50.3 per cent of adults.

The province also confirmed this week that younger British Columbians between the ages of 12 and 17 should wait six months before getting a booster shot, the same interval as adults. It's unclear whether health officials will recommend everyone in that age group get a booster dose, but Henry said children and youths considered high-risk should get the added protection.

Officials shared updated guidelines for declaring and managing care home outbreaks as well, and a new policy allowing seniors to each have one essential visitor and one designated visitor, even when there are COVID-19 cases in their facility.

The Ministry of Health had no new health-care facility outbreaks to declare Wednesday, and the one at Veterans Memorial Lodge has ended. That leaves 54 across B.C.'s health-care system, most at long-term care homes. Top Stories

Stay Connected