Omicron hits peak infection rate in BC, but hospitalizations expected to climb

Jan 14 2022, 7:05 pm

BC health officials have revealed the latest modelling data for COVID-19 in the province, including some data on the severity of Omicron cases.

At a press conference on Friday morning, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that BC had likely hit its peak for Omicron cases last week.

She also believes we’ll hit the peak for hospital admissions sometime next week.

BC has had a growing number of hospital admissions over the last few days, and yesterday BC hit a new record with 534 hospitalizations.

Omicron severity

During the press conference, Henry addressed Omicron’s severity and seemed to come to the conclusion that people that are being hospitalized in general are not seeing symptoms as severe as with the Delta variant. As a result, while more people are being admitted to hospitals, the severity of the cases isn’t as severe.

bc omicron

BC Ministry of Health

People who are vulnerable or immunocompromised are still at a higher risk of severe infection. While all the talk these days is about Omicron, in December, most people being hospitalized tested positive for the Delta variant.

Henry also pointed out that while Omicron tends to be less severe, it can still lead to severe illness in those who are unvaccinated.

Transmission

When it comes to how quickly Omicron is being spread, the modelling assumes that transmission is currently 20% lower than it was between December 14 and 23.

Henry looked at jurisdictions around the world and compared BC’s trajectory, and it suggests that we could see a downward trend in the Omicron wave in the coming weeks.

bc omicron

BC Ministry of Health

Current restrictions

BC is currently under two sets of health orders, or restrictions. The closures of gyms and fitness centres, bars and nightclubs, along with indoor gatherings and limits on the size of groups at restaurants, are set to expire on January 18.

While Henry addressed why those restrictions are in place, she didn’t say whether or not those restrictions were going to expire on the 18th or whether they’d be extended.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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