COVID-19 in British Columbia: 646 in hospital; community transmission may have peaked; pediatric cases on the rise

BC’s provincial health officer says it appears community transmission of COVID-19 peaked last weekend.

Dr. Bonnie Henry made the comment during a Jan. 14 briefing with reporters.

“Our test positivity has been really high – and it’s been in the 20s lately,” Henry said. “We saw last week, in particular, that we started to see a decrease in test positivity and the number of PCR positive cases.”

She noted that Ontario and Quebec are “slightly ahead of us” where they are in the current wave of Omicron cases. And she said they were each starting to see a decrease in community transmissions.

“Other places in Canada…are slightly behind us and they’re very much up,” Henry added.

She said people will have to wait until Tuesday (January 18) to find out if the province plans to extend or end a provincial health order that has closed gyms, dance studios, fitness facilities, discos and pubs that don’t. Serve food.

Record of hospitalizations

Even though it turns out that community transmissions have peaked in British Columbia (although Henry admitted that’s not the case in the Northern Health Region), COVID-19 hospitalizations are still on an upward trajectory in British Columbia.

Today, British Columbia reported a record 646 people hospitalized with COVID-19. It was a dramatic increase from yesterday’s figure of 534. But the number in intensive care rose from 102 to 95 in 24 hours.

Six new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths from COVID-19 provincewide to 2,468 since March 2020.

Henry said there had been an increase in hospitalizations among young people and a “dramatic increase” for those over 70. But the rate remains highest among people over 80.

The provincial health official also highlighted the risks of not being vaccinated. For example, she said people without any protection against the virus are 12 times more likely to be hospitalized and 27 times more likely to end up in an intensive care unit.

“It shows us that vaccination protects people with severe disease who are not hospitalized,” Henry said.

More children hospitalized

Regarding pediatric cases, there were nine hospital admissions in the 0-4 year age group. There were two admissions of children aged 5 to 11 and two aged 12 to 17.

The number of pediatric daily cases rose sharply this month with the spread of the Omicron variant.

“Fortunately, we haven’t seen any of these children in need of intensive care yet and we have no new deaths in this age group,” Henry said. “But that again reflects the fact that this virus is spreading widely in our community.”

There has been only one case of a child hospitalized in British Columbia after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

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