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COVID-19 hospitalizations up again, but ICU numbers remain flat

B.C. hits new peak in hospitalizations, with 534 patients reported on Thursday

Hospitalizations are continuing to rise with the surge of the Omicron variant, up by another 34 patients on Thursday to 534.

The number of people reported in hospital on Thursday is the highest ever seen in the province, topping the 515 patients reported in hospital on April 28, 2021, during the peak of B.C.'s third wave.

The number of patients in B.C. ICUs, however, has seen a much slower increase, rising from 90 one week ago to 102 on Thursday.

With another 2,554 new cases of COVID-19, the province now has 36,049 active cases. That figure is about equal with active case counts reported over the past three days, but still among the highest ever seen in the province.

Interior Health saw 462 of the new cases reported Thursday. Elsewhere, there were 885 in Fraser Health, 485 in Vancouver Coastal, 304 in Northern and 412 in Island Health.

Seven further deaths were also reported, including four in Fraser Health, two in Island Health and one in Northern Health.

The province also added five further outbreaks to its list, bringing the total to 53 health-care facilities with active COVID-19 outbreaks.

One Kamloops facility is among them, the Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre. That same long-term care home saw an outbreak declared exactly one year ago on Jan. 13, 2021. That outbreak lasted for three months, infecting 24 residents, and eight staff. Two residents died during the outbreak, which began only weeks after the province began offering COVID-19 vaccines to health-care workers for the first time.

As of Thursday, 92.3 per cent of all British Columbians over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 89.5 have received two doses and 29.2 per cent have received three doses.

Those not fully vaccinated with at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have accounted for 21 per cent of all cases over the past week and 34.5 per cent of all hospitalizations over the past two weeks and 53 per cent of all patients in ICUs as of Thursday.