BC health officials on Wednesday reported 276 people hospitalized with COVID-19, including 43 in intensive care, as the province recorded six more deaths from the disease and 291 new cases.
The new numbers represent an increase of three COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the past 24 hours, and three fewer patients in the ICU.
The total number of hospital admissions, which typically lags peaks and troughs in new cases, is up seven percent from last Wednesday when 258 people were hospitalized with the disease and down about 47 percent from a month ago when 523 people were hospitalized. people were in the hospital.
The number of patients in intensive care is down about 12 percent from 49 a week ago and 48 percent compared to a month ago when 83 people were in ICU.
As of Wednesday, 6.9 percent of COVID-19 tests in BC come back positive, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. The number was above 20 percent for most of January, but began to decline in February, along with hospital admissions. Test positivity hit a low of 5.6 percent earlier this month, but has been slowly rising again since March 21.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said that anything above a five percent test position is an indicator of a more worrisome level of transmission.
The provincial death toll from COVID-19 has now lost 2,996 from 356,252 confirmed cases to date.
There are seven active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term and acute care settings, including one at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
By Wednesday, 90.8 percent of those five years and older in BC had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 87.3 percent had received their second dose. Those numbers have remained constant for several days.
From March 22 to 28, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 17.7 percent of cases and from March 15 to 28, they accounted for 20.4 percent of hospitalizations, the province said.
In total, 2.6 million people have received a third injection.
Possible 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine
While less than 60 percent of eligible adults have received their COVID-19 booster dose to date, a fourth dose is now being studied to help with waning immunity.
Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization Recommends a Fourth Injection for moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals six months after their third dose. In the US, regulators approved a fourth dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week for Americans 50 and older.
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were tested as a two-shot regimen. That said, three doses have been proven to provide stronger protection against serious illness.
For anyone at high risk of getting severe COVID — including seniors and those with weakened immune systems — a fourth shot is likely a “very good idea” and offers significant additional protection, virologist Angela Rasmussen said.
“However, for many people who don’t fit into those categories, it’s hard to say that the fourth injection will provide much benefit, especially in the long run, over a third injection,” said Rasmussen, a researcher at the university. of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization.