COVID-19 in B.C.: Record number of hospitalizations and an additional 22 deaths over three days

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      Last week, B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, suggested that the wave of Omicron variant infections may have already peaked in this province.

      But that hasn't stemmed the flow of people being hospitalized as a result of COVID-19.

      Today (January 17), the B.C. government reported that there are now 819 COVID-positive people in hospital. That's a new record, up from 646 in hospital on January 14.

      The number in intensive care has risen from 95 in these wards three days ago to 99 today.

      The really bad news is the number who are not making it out of hospital alive. With 22 more deaths over the past three days, B.C.'s fatality toll from COVID-19 has risen to 2,490 since March 2020.

      In addition, there were eight new outbreaks of COVID-19 at health-care facilities over the past three days, including five in the Island Health region. Three others have been declared over, meaning there are now outbreaks in 50 facilities.

      According to the B.C. government, 33.7 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19 from December 31 to January 13 are unvaccinated.

      On January 18, Henry will speak to the media about provincial health orders on gatherings and events, as well as restrictions on gyms, fitness centres, and dance studios.

      Meanwhile, the B.C. School COVID Tracker Twitter feed has been posting school-exposure events. It added 330 over the weekend.