Weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in B.C. appear to be trending downward, according to the latest data released by the BC Centre for Disease Control. But with preliminary data changing significantly from past reports, the province's COVID situation remains somewhat unclear.
Last month, the provincial government stopped issuing daily reports on COVID-19 cases and deaths, replacing them with weekly reports instead. The latest weekly data is only current up to April 30.
Between April 24 and 30, the latest report shows 375 British Columbians were hospitalized with COVID-19, 55 of whom live in the Interior. While this is a 10 per cent reduction in new hospitalizations from the week prior, the April 24 -30 data is preliminary, and that number is expected to increase.
Last week's report initially stated there were 355 new COVID hospital admission in the province between April 17 and 23, but this week's report stated there were actually 418 new admissions that week – an increase of close to 18%.
According to the BC COVID-19 online dashboard, there are 550 British Columbians currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province as of Thursday, 39 of whom are in critical care. This is a decrease of 20 from a week ago. Of these, 103 are in the Interior, four of whom are in critical care.
The weekly report also remains largely unhelpful when it comes to COVID deaths. When the BC CDC shifted to weekly reports last month, it began reporting “all-cause mortality,” which includes all people who died within 30 days of testing positive for COVID-19.
“All-cause mortality is being used because cause of death takes approximately eight weeks to be recorded,” the BC Centre for Disease Control says in its case notes.
“Retrospective evaluations of underlying cause of death will be done by the BCCDC, in addition to the data provided in this report, to better understand true COVID-19 mortality.”
This week's report shows 50 “all-cause” deaths in B.C. between April 24 and 30, including 15 from the Interior.
But this number has also been changing week-by-week. While the BC CDC reported last week there were 42 all-cause deaths between April 17 and 23, this week's report shows there were actually 66 deaths that week.
Between April 24 and 30, 2,283 new COVID-19 cases were identified in B.C, 526 of which came from the Interior. Province-wide, new cases remained similar to the week prior, but with limited access to PCR testing, this data may not paint an accurate picture of how many people are actually contracting the virus.