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B.C. COVID-19 hospitalizations lowest since June

Another 33 people are said to have died while infected with COVID-19
Omicron - Getty - David Talukdar
A health worker holds a test sample of the Omicron variant of COVID-19


Metrics tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. showed that the disease has waned as summer weather encourages people to get outside. 

The government's data has shown to be unreliable, but trends indicate that the disease is less prevalent than it was in the spring. 

One new weapon in the province's arsenal in attacking disease spread is Moderna's vaccine that targets both COVID-19 and its Omicron strain. Health Canada approved that vaccine for use earlier today

The number of those who have tested positive for the virus and are in B.C. hospitals has fallen to 306 as of today, according to the government. That's the lowest that figure has been since June 30, when there were 273 such people identified. One week ago, the government data said 331 British Columbians were in hospitals with the virus.

Of those now in hospital with the virus, 25 are in intensive care units (ICUs), down from 29 one week ago. 

People are still dying while infected at a level higher than earlier this summer. 

In the week up to Aug. 27, 33 people are said to have died while infected. That is the same number as the week that ended Aug. 20, which was a 10-week high. 

Data for new COVID-19 deaths includes anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 within 30 days and then died – a calculation that could include people who tested positive and then died in car accidents.

Glacier Media has asked the Ministry of Health why the death toll consistently rises more than the number of new deaths but has not received a satisfactory explanation. The ministry's most recent response was that the data "may be incomplete," but there has never been any updates to previously announced weekly death totals. 

In April, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that she was changing the process for counting deaths and that the new procedure would be to include all deaths that involved people infected with COVID-19 in weekly updates and the overall death toll. She said that the province's Vital Statistics Agency would then determine that some deaths were not due to COVID-19 and that it would remove those deaths from the overall death toll. The death toll's consistent rise in excess of the number of new deaths is the exact opposite of what Henry said would happen. 

The government said today that 651 new infections were detected in the week ended Aug. 27 – down by 86 from the 737 known new infections in the week ended Aug. 20.

Data for new infections is widely dismissed. Even Henry, earlier this year, called the data for new cases "not accurate." This is because in December she started telling people who were vaccinated and had mild symptoms to not get tested and to simply self-isolate. She said at the time that this was to increase testing capacity for those with more serious symptoms and those who are more vulnerable.

Given that there were 15,563 tests conducted for the week up to Aug. 27, the positive-test rate is now 4.18 per cent. That's the lowest that indicator has been since March 18. •