COVID-19 hospitalizations and flu cases declining
The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in B.C. fell to its lowest level in weeks Thursday. And, flu rates continue to decline following a sharp early peak in November and December, RSV levels remain high but are levelling off.
There were 302 test-positive patients in hospitals across the province, the lowest total seen since Nov. 10, and a roughly 15-per-cent drop from the 356 recorded last week.
Weekly hospitalization totals released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control include both those who have serious cases of COVID-19 requiring medical treatment and those who are admitted to hospital for other reasons and test positive incidentally.
Health officials estimate that, at any given time, between 40 and 50 per cent of current COVID-related hospitalizations are caused by the disease, while the rest are incidental.
Since the province began counting hospitalizations using this “hospital census” model in January 2022, there have been as many as 985 and as few as 255 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in B.C. on Thursdays.
Since mid-August, however, the hospital census has not gone above 400, and it has only been below 300 for a brief, three-week span in late October and early November. A graph showing the trend in the weekly hospital census from January 2022 onward can be found at the end of this article.
In its weekly update on Thursday, the BCCDC announced 661 new, lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the period of Jan. 1 through 7.
That’s a slight decrease from the preceding week, which saw 691 new infections added to the official case count, but still higher than any other week since Oct. 13.