The number of British Columbians in hospital with COVID-19 has climbed to its highest level since February.
According to the latest COVID-19 figures released Thursday, 596 people who tested positive for the virus are in hospital, including 54 in critical care.
Hospitalization figures have been climbing steadily since a low of 255 in mid-March. The last time that number was this high was on Feb. 24, when 612 COVID-positive patients were in hospital.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control also released its weekly report for May 1 to 7.
During this period, 331 people were admitted to hospital. About 68 per cent of the new patients, or 226, were admitted in a Lower Mainland hospital.
Across the province, 1,987 positive cases were reported for the first week of May, a drop from the previous week’s 2,283 cases. However, both figures are believed to be an undercount of cases in the community due to limited PCR testing.
The new infections were concentrated in Fraser Health (742) and Interior Health (445). Vancouver Coastal had 330 new cases in the past week, Vancouver Island had 373, and Northern Health had 97.
Deaths have also been trending downwards. For May 1 to 7, the province reported 59 deaths, down from 68 last week and 70 the week before that.
B.C. has switched to a new reporting model that counts all deaths that occur within 30 days from a positive test result, even if the virus was not the primary reason for death. The final tally of those who died due to COVID may get adjusted downward in subsequent reports, once the primary cause of death is determined in each case.
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