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B.C. has fewest COVID-19 patients in ICU since August

Two more COVID-19 deaths raise province's pandemic death toll to 2,998.
Ambulance on Davie
An ambulance waits for a call on Davie Street in Vancouver

The number of COVID-19 patients sick enough to be in B.C. hospitals' intensive care units (ICUs) fell by one overnight, to 42, which is the lowest number since Aug. 13, when there were 39.

Including those in ICUs and other hospital wards, there are 281 COVID-19 patients in B.C. health-care facilities. That is up by five from yesterday. 

These numbers are far below the province's record 1,048 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Jan. 31, and the record of 178 COVID-19 patients in ICUs, slightly more than 11 months ago, on April 29. 

Two more COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours inch the province closer to the 3,000-death threshold, as the pandemic death toll in B.C. is now 2,998.

Officials detected 249 new infections in the past day. 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, however, has told vaccinated people with mild symptoms to not get tested so as to free up tests for those who are more vulnerable. As a result she has called the daily case counts "not accurate." 

The B.C. government on Feb. 10 stopped providing daily data updates for active COVID-19 infections for that reason.

In total, the province knows of 356,501 COVID-19 infections since the first case was detected in January 2020.

Two new known outbreaks in health-care facilities or seniors' homes push the number of active outbreaks in those settings to nine. The new outbreaks are at Parkview Place in Enderbee, and Monashee Mews in Lumby.

Vaccinations help limit the spread of the disease that spawned a global pandemic, and help reduce the seriousness of infections that do occur.

The vast majority of British Columbians are already vaccinated, and new vaccinations are ongoing. In the past day, 210 residents received their first dose of vaccine, while 1,134 received their second doses, and 1,884 received third doses of vaccine. 

In total, 4,528,450 eligible B.C. residents have had at least one dose of vaccine, while 4,352,964 are considered fully vaccinated with two doses, and 2,667,279 have had three doses.

Recent Statistics Canada 2021 census data counted 5,000,879 residents in B.C.

Glacier Media's calculation therefore is that more than 90.5 per cent of B.C.'s total population has had at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 87% per cent of the province's total population has had two doses. More than 53.3 per cent have had their third, or booster doses. •