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B.C. COVID hospitalizations up as province releases weekly report

1,770 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, but likely an undercount as PCR testing is limited
The contents of a COVID-19 antigen rapid test kit. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. are on the rise, according to the latest data released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

As of Thursday, April 14, 364 British Columbians are in hospital with the virus, 36 of whom are in critical care. The number of people in hospital — which includes people hospitalized due to complications from COVID and people who are infected but in hospital for other reasons — is up by 40 from last week, while the number of people in ICU is down by two.

B.C. ended daily reporting of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths last week. Provincial health officials said this was part of the province moving toward a “surveillance model” similar to how B.C. monitors other respiratory infections, even as Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam warns that a sixth wave is likely across Canada.

The province has also changed the way it reports COVID-19 deaths. Anyone in B.C. who died within 30-days of receiving a positive COVID-19 test is now considered to have died from the virus. Officials have said this model will result in an overrepresentation of deaths in the statistics and said that figures will be retroactively corrected once the cause of death is confirmed. From April 3 to April 9, B.C. recorded 23 deaths related to COVID.

For the same week, B.C. is reporting 1,770 new cases of COVID-19. However, access to PCR testing remains limited, so the case count is likely significantly lower than the true number. Everyone aged 18 and older can access free rapid antigen test kits at their local pharmacy, but positive rapid tests are not included in official statistics.

READ MORE: Future waves of COVID-19 likely as Canada undergoes “period of transition”: Tam

READ MORE: Rapid tests an important, if imperfect, tool in potential sixth wave, say experts


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