The number of COVID-19 patients at B.C. hospitals has fallen to 298, the lowest total since January 4, when there were also 298 people identified as having COVID-19 in those facilities.
The decline in hospitalizations is one main reason why the B.C. government recently removed the requirement that residents wear face masks when indoors in public places.
The province plans on April 8 to remove the requirement that dine-in restaurant patrons, sporting event attendees and those who enter some other venues present BC Vaccine Cards to prove that they have been vaccinated at least twice.
The trend of fewer COVID-19 hospital patients has been strong, given that 27 consecutive government data updates have shown fewer people in B.C. hospitals with COVID-19.
Until mid-January, B.C. had a more restrictive way of counting COVID-19 patients, and did not count people who caught COVID-19 in hospital while there for another ailment. The previous restrictive counting system also did not count people after they had gone 10 days after first exhibiting symptoms, and were therefore deemed not infectious, as well as COVID-19 patients who normally live outside B.C.
Were B.C. to still have that restrictive counting system, the province would likely have even fewer patients in those wards deemed as having COVID-19.
Today's count has a net total of 31 fewer COVID-19 hospital patients than did the one yesterday.
Of those hospitalized with COVID-19, 49 are sick enough to be in intensive care units (ICUs). That is down by two from yesterday, and in the range of the past week.
Seven COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours raises the province's pandemic death toll to 2,960.
No new outbreaks have been discovered at seniors' homes or other health-care facilities, while one at the Greenwoods seniors' facility on Salt Spring Island has been declared over. That leaves eight active outbreaks in hospitals or seniors' facilities.
Health officials detected 240 new infections in the past 24 hours. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, however, has told vaccinated people with mild symptoms to not get tested so as to free up tests for those who are more vulnerable. As a result she has called the daily case counts "not accurate."
The B.C. government on February 10 stopped providing data for active infections, and the number of those considered to have recovered from COVID-19 for that very reason.
Strangely, it still provides data for new known infections, and the cumulative total for infections, which is now 353,397.
The vast majority of British Columbians are already vaccinated. While 604 people received their first dose of vaccine in the province in the past day, another 2,091 received second doses of vaccine, and 2,707 obtained their booster doses.
In total, 4,524,095 eligible B.C. residents have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 4,330,237 are considered fully vaccinated with two doses, and 2,633,652 have had three doses.
Recent Statistics Canada 2021 census data counted 5,000,879 residents in B.C.
Glacier Media's calculation therefore is that nearly 90.5 per cent of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 86.5 per cent of the province's total population has had two doses. More than 52.6 per cent have had their booster doses. •