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COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. at highest level since April

Number of patients in intensive care units has risen to the highest point since April 30
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry regularly provides updates on the extent of COVID-19 in B.C. | BC government

The trend of higher numbers of newly identified people with COVID-19 in B.C. has started to be felt in hospital wards, including the intensive care unit (ICU), according to government data released October 14. 

There are now 84 people hospitalized across B.C. from the virus that has caused a global pandemic – the highest number since April 29, when there were 89 people in hospital with the disease. Of those in hospital, 24 people are suffering enough to be in intensive care units. The last time there were more people in ICU with COVID-19 was on April 30, when 30 people were being treated in that way.

The vast majority of the 1,496 people currently battling the disease are self-isolating at home. 

The elevated number of hospitalizations come as the number of new daily cases continue to be in the triple digits. For a record thirteenth day running, the number of new cases has topped 100. With the number of tests conducted in the past 24 hours being 5,446, the positive-test rate has shot up to 2.9% – the highest that it has been in at least many weeks.

There were 158 new cases identified across B.C. in the past 24 hours, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and deputy health minister Stephen Brown said in a joint statement. 

That makes 10,892 people battling COVID-19 since the virus first was identified in B.C. in late January. The breakdown of all known infections in B.C. by health region is now:
•  3,941 in Vancouver Coastal Health (up 49);
•  5,697 in Fraser Health (up 102);
•  237 in Island Health (up two);
•  585 in Interior Health (up three);
•  343 in Northern Health (up two); and
•  89 people who reside outside Canada (no change).

Health officials are monitoring 3,608 people for symptoms given that they have had known exposure to identified cases. 

Some good news is that the vast majority of those infected with the virus have recovered. The province's recovery rate now sits at more than 83.6%, or 9,112 people. Other good news is that no one has died from the virus in the past 24 hours so the province's death toll from the disease remains 250.

"The outbreak at St. Paul's Hospital has been declared over," Henry and Brown said.

That leaves outbreaks at only two B.C. hospitals: Surrey Memorial Hospital and Delta Hospital.

There are 17 seniors' homes that have outbreaks:
• PICS assisted living facility in Surrey;
• Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Resident in MIssion;
• Yaletown House long-term care facility in Vancouver; 
• Weinberg Residence in Vancouver;
• Haro Park Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Point Grey Private Hospital long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Harrison West at Elim Village in Surrey;
• Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey;
• Chartwell Crescent Gardens in Surrey;
• Langley Lodge in Langley;
• White Rock Seniors' Village in White Rock;
• Thornebridge Gardens in New Westminster;
• KinVillage assisted living facility in Tsawwassen;
• New Vista Care Home long-term care facility in Burnaby;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby; and the
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre long-term care facility.

"One of the best things that we can do to protect ourselves and those around us is to pay close attention to how we are feeling, by doing our own personal health check each day," said Henry and Brown. 

"This is particularly important if we have recently spent time with people outside of our household bubble or 'safe six.' If you are at all feeling unwell, be the COVID-19 champion who makes the choice to stay home and stay away from others. If you have any symptoms, contact 811 or your health-care provider to arrange for testing."

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