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B.C. ICUs have fewest COVID-19 patients in seven months

Three more deaths raise B.C.'s pandemic death toll to 2,935
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Serious COVID-19 infections have been on the decline for weeks, and that trend continued today. 

Of the 368 COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals, 46 are sick enough to need the special equipment and attention available in intensive care units (ICUs). That is the fewest such patients in B.C. ICUs since August 13 – a couple days shy of seven months ago.

Back then, 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.

The result is that were that restrictive counting system still in place, B.C. would likely have even fewer patients in those wards deemed as having COVID-19.

The overall number of COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals has now fallen in each of the past 23 provincial government data updates. 

Three more people have died while infected with the disease, although it was not revealed if those people were in hospitals, seniors' homes or other places. The province's death toll has risen to 2,935, since the first COVID-19 death in Canada was recorded slightly more than two years ago – on March 9. That person – a man in his 80s – was a resident at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

Health officials detected 288 new infections in the past 24 hours. Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, however, has told vaccinted 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 352,039.

No new outbreaks have been discovered at B.C.'s seniors' homes, and none of the 14 outbreaks that were active yesterday have been declared over. 

The vast majority of British Columbians are already vaccinated, while 467 people received their first dose of vaccine in the province in the past day. Another 1,661 received second doses of vaccine, while an even 2,900 obtained their booster doses. 

In total, 4,522,145 eligible B.C. residents have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 4,318.406 are considered fully vaccinated with two doses, and 2,616,170 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 slightly more than 90.4 per cent of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 86.3 per cent of the province's total population has had two doses. More than 52.3 per cent have had their booster doses. •