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B.C. records 14 COVID-19 deaths in past three days

COVID-19 hospitalizations fall to 359 – the lowest total since January.
The number of COVID-19 hospital patients in B.C. has been trending lower since hitting a record 1,048 on January 31

B.C. health officials counted 14 more COVID-19 deaths in the past three days, raising the province's pandemic death toll to 2,946.

That death toll would have been higher had the province not removed three previously counted COVID-19 deaths from its records because of a data correction. 

Exact ages or other demographic information for those who died was not immediately released, although Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry has stressed in recent weeks that seniors, particularly those older than 80 years, are at particular risk of death from the disease regardless of whether they are vaccinated. 

Some good news is that the number of COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals continues to fall, and is now 359 – down nine from Friday. Of those, 51 are in intensive care units (ICUs), which is five more than on Friday. 

The 359 COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals is the fewest since Jan. 7. 

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 24 provincial government data updates. 

Health officials detected 689 new infections in the past three days. 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 Feb. 10 stopped providing data for active infections, and the number of those considered to have recovered from COVID-19 for that very reason. 

Curiously, health officials still provide data for the cumulative total for infections, which is now 352,728.

No new outbreaks have been discovered at B.C. health-care facilities or seniors' homes, and the outbreak at Mission Memorial Hospital has been declared over. That leaves 13 active outbreaks at health-care facilities. 

The vast majority of British Columbians are already vaccinated.

In total, 4,523,071 eligible B.C. residents have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 4,325,516 are considered fully vaccinated with two doses, and 2,626,013 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 nearly 86.5 per cent of the province's total population has had two doses. More than 52.5 per cent have had their booster doses. •