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COVID hospitalizations jump by nearly 100 as B.C. experts warn of third Omicron wave

Health Minister Adrian Dix will provide an update on vaccination Friday at 1 p.m.
A disposable face mask is shown attached to a woman’s arm in Old Montreal, Sunday, July 18 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has jumped by nearly 100 since last week.

An update from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control showed that there are 369 people in hospital this week, up from the 273 reported last week. ICU admissions are up as well with 36 people in critical care compared to 32 last week.

READ MORE: B.C. COVID hospitalizations remain steady, 17 new deaths reported

Not everyone in hospital with COVID-19 is there because of complications from the virus. Numbers are tracked on a census basis, meaning anyone who tests positive for COVID while in hospital is reflected in the count.

The rise comes as experts from the B.C. COVID-19 Modelling Group are predicting a third Omicron wave to sweep across B.C. that will peak in August. Genomic sequencing data shows that the wave is being driven by Omicron sublineages BA.4 and BA.5.

B.C. recorded 24 new deaths for the week of June 26 to July 2. Initially, 17 deaths were reported for the week of June 19 - 25, but that number has been revised to 33. B.C. records death statistics on the basis of 30-day all-cause mortality, meaning anyone who dies within 30-days of a positive diagnosis is considered to have died from COVID-19.

For the week of June 26 to July 2, B.C. recorded 765 new infections. That’s up from 620 the week prior. These statistics do not reflect cases recorded on rapid antigen tests and underestimate the true prevalence of COVID-19 in B.C.

Access to a fourth dose of vaccine remains restricted for a majority of British Columbians. Health Minister Adrian Dix will deliver an update on B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan Friday (July 8) at 1 p.m.

READ MORE: Public Health Agency of Canada says expect guidance on 4th dose of COVID vaccine soon


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