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B.C.’s COVID-19 hospitalizations tick down slightly

While hospitalizations have dropped, deaths have grown over the past week.
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The number of people admitted into the ICU, infected with COVID-19, has grown over the past week

The number of serious COVID-19 infections sending British Columbians to the hospital have made little movement over the past week, according to data released Thursday by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Hospitalizations have dropped to 401 people, as of July 21, compared with a week earlier when 406 people in the province found themselves hospitalized.

But the number of those in intensive care units grew from 30 to 35 week over the same one-week period.

Twenty-nine people were reported as deceased while infected with COVID-19 — up from the 21 reported deceased a week earlier.

The death total includes anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 within 30 days and then died. That calculation may include people who tested positive and then died in car accidents.

Government data states a total of 3,908 British Columbians have died while infected with COVID-19 — that’s up by 53 from a week earlier despite the province reporting 29 deaths.

The B.C. government's process is supposed to include all deaths that involved people infected with COVID-19 in the weekly death tally as well as the overall death toll. Then at a future date it’s meant to remove from the overall death toll the ones in which the province's Vital Statistics Agency determines that the death was not due to COVID-19.

Instead, for months the number of new deaths has been lower than the number of deaths added to the overall COVID-19 death toll.

The Ministry of Health has offered no explanation for this discrepancy when asked by BIV. 

The ministry has said previously the weekly death tally "may be incomplete,” but updated figures have not been released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control or the province.

Meanwhile, the latest government data reveals 921 cases of COVID-19 were detected over the latest one-week period. That’s down from the 1,044 cases reported a week prior.

Data for new infections, however, has long been widely dismissed, and even Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry earlier this year called the information "not accurate." This is because in December she started telling people who were vaccinated and had mild symptoms to not get tested and to 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.

Testing is now only encouraged in cases where knowing the test result could change treatment recommendations.

—With files from Glen Korstrom

torton@biv.com

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