The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C. has fallen this month, just as it spiked last month.
According to the BC Center for Disease Control, 263 people were hospitalized with the disease on Thursday. That’s down from a nearly 14-month high of 422 cases hit earlier this month, and a 38% drop over the past three weeks.
The totals reported include both people hospitalized with COVID-19 and people who were hospitalized for other reasons and accidentally tested positive.
CTV News is tracking the number of people currently hospitalized, as that is the only metric that the BCCDC reports in real time. Other data is reported by “epidemiology week”, with the latest figures reported in each Thursday update coming from the period from the previous Sunday to Saturday.
When combined with other data and compared to its own trend line, the number of people currently hospitalized provides a snapshot of the relative level of coronavirus infections in the state.
Since the peak in early October, there has been a clear downward trend in the number of infections.
Publicly funded laboratory testing is very limited in British Columbia, but the last few updates from the BC CDC show that case numbers and test positivity rates are decreasing.
According to the latest data, there were 571 new laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases between October 15 and October 21. This is down from 739 people in the previous epidemiological week.
Similarly, the percentage of tests coming back positive was 16.4% in the week ending October 21, down from 19.4% the previous week and 23.4% in the last week of September.
Wastewater surveillance data can provide a sense of infection rates among the majority of the population not covered by lab-based testing, but concentrations of the virus that causes COVID-19 are increasing in the southern mainland. It shows that it continues to do so. However, the rate of increase has slowed in recent weeks, with all five Lower Mainland treatment plants showing increases of less than 8%.
The situation is similar in other parts of British Columbia, with most treatment facilities showing an upward trend, but the rate of increase is slowing.