January 15 and 20. expected to be hospitalized between
According to data released by the provincial government, the transmission of the Omicron COVID-19 variant is likely to peak in BC.
Health officials released data on Friday that suggested hospitalizations in the province could peak in a week or two.
Case trends, test positivity rates and wastewater samples all suggest that the spread of the virus is now downward in the Lower Mainland, following similar trends in other urban centers in the US and UK.
The Omicron version has taken over as the dominant strain of the virus in just a month, but fewer people are being hospitalized and not for long.
When compared to the delta version, people with Omicron stay in hospital for about half the time and are 60% less likely to receive critical care or die.
And while visits to emergency rooms for COVID-19 have soared to record levels, fewer of those people are actually being hospitalized.
Between December 11 and January 7, those without vaccination were 12 times more likely to be hospitalized, 27 times more likely to be in critical care and 40 times more likely to die.
The provincial government will introduce a new method for counting hospitalizations on Friday, which will result in further increases in those figures.
Going forward, patients admitted directly to the hospital, those who test positive incidentally during their stay in the hospital for other reasons, and those who contracted COVID during the hospital outbreak, are all counted. Will go
Health officials revealed that so far, the COVID hospitalization data did not include people involved in the outbreak or patients from outside the province. The data stream was a “mix” of information from various sources that would now be standardized.
An audit of COVID cases and hospitalizations during the month of December at Vancouver Coastal Health found that 56 of the 7,989 PCR-confirmed cases in the community were hospitalized.
About half of those hospitalized were directly due to COVID, while the other half were “incidentally hospitalized” – they were tested for some other reason and found to have COVID. In the future, casual hospitalization data will be released “from time to time”.
Health officials have stopped watching the absolute case count so closely when predicting where the pandemic is headed in B.C., but say case figures are still valuable on tracking trends and patterns.
And those patterns, for now, suggest transmission to the Lower Mainland in the first week of January. Modeling suggests that the length of hospitalization will peak between January 15 and 20.
The internal health sector has traditionally been weeks behind the lower mainland.