Island Health confirms 1 new COVID-19 death in final update of the week
B.C. health officials have confirmed one new COVID-19 death in the Vancouver Island region Friday.
Across the province, nine COVID-19-related deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, including the one in Island Health.
Since the pandemic began, 2,529 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., including 162 in the island region.
According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, 65 people are in hospital for treatment of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island.
Friday's total is up from the 56 patients in hospital Thursday, and an increase from the 37 reported one week ago on Jan. 14.
As of Friday, 11 patients are receiving critical care in Island Health, up from seven reported Thursday and nine confirmed on Jan. 14.
Roughly one month ago, on Dec. 21, 40 people were in hospital for treatment of COVID-19 in Island Health, including 15 patients who required critical care.
Health officials have confirmed 2,364 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 334 cases in the Vancouver Island region Friday.
Although confirmed cases are only a fraction of the total number of cases in B.C., health officials say the test results are still an indicator of transmission rates in the province.
"Yes, we have our highest test positivity rates ever, and it's in the 20 to 30 per cent positive range, but that means 70 per cent of people who are testing don't have COVID-19," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a live update Friday morning.
There are currently 33,997 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 2,024 active cases in the island region, according to the Health Ministry.
At the briefing, Henry added that contact tracing was no longer an effective tool for managing the pandemic, since the Omicron variant is highly transmissible.
"We now need to shift our management and think about the things we can do across the board to prevent transmission and prevent ourselves from being exposed," she said.
As of Friday, approximately 89.4 per cent of eligible British Columbians aged five and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 83.5 per cent have received two doses.
Meanwhile, roughly 37.8 per cent of eligible British Columbians aged 12 and older have received a third dose of vaccine.
Earlier Friday, Island Health declared three new COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care homes on Vancouver Island.
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