BC facing highest rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations since pandemic began

Feb 1 2022, 10:28 pm

COVID-19 hospital admissions are at an all-time high in BC and the Omicron variant is playing a huge role in these hospitalizations, according to new data presented by BC health officials. Approximately 90% of current hospital admissions are related to the Omicron variant.

Province Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix shared the data at a COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

The data suggests that people who have been infected by the Omicron variant have stayed in hospital for less time than those who were hospitalized with the Delta variant.

Henry said that BC is currently facing its highest rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the pandemic began. She also suggested that we are likely at our peak when it comes to hospital admission rates in the province. Yesterday, BC crossed over the 1,000 mark.

bc covid-19

BC Ministry of Health

Another interesting revelation from the presentation is that fewer people have wound up in hospitals requiring critical care when looking at the Omicron variant versus the Delta variant.

omicron hospitalization

BC Ministry of Health

While Omicron hospitalizations among young people are less severe, that does not seem to be the case for people who are 70 to 80+. The length of hospital stays also seems to be shorter compared to how long people were typically in hospital with the Delta variant — “approximately half the time,” according to Henry.


BC Ministry of Health

Henry says hospitalization rates among younger ages in BC seem to be trending downwards.

“And this is where we would expect to be given the modelling that we’ve been using to help us understand the trajectory,” she said.

As we’ve heard throughout the pandemic since vaccines were introduced, Henry said that those who are unvaccinated are more likely to require critical care in hospitals.

“It just shows us the importance of how we’re getting through this phase of this pandemic with so much transmission of Omicron. How important it is that vaccination is preventing people from needing hospital care because of their COVID infection.”

While the Omicron variant is generally less severe than Delta when it comes to the chance of being hospitalized, Henry added that the risk of being hospitalized is still relatively high when thousands of people are being infected every day.

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