(Dr. Bonnie Henry/Photo by Colin Smith Takes Pics)

BC health officials are seeing fewer COVID-19 cases in this week’s update amid a jump in hospitalizations, including on Vancouver Island.

The province’s COVID-19 Dashboard shows 596 people in hospital with the virus, an increase from the 550 reported last week. Across BC, 54 people are currently in intensive care (ICU).

Within the Island Health region specifically, 73 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including three ICU patients.

In the BC Centre for Disease Control’s weekly COVID-19 update, the province saw 1,987 new cases of COVID-19, including 373 in Island Health, bumping the island’s total case count to 35,256 since the pandemic began.

The report released Thursday shows that between May 1st to 7th, BC saw 59 new deaths, with 13 recorded in Island Health, increasing the region’s overall COVID-19 death toll to 309.

However, health officials say that number is subject to change, noting adjustments have been made to how deaths are reported.

Fatalities within 30 days of a person’s positive COVID-19 lab result are now included in the count, regardless of whether the virus was the actual cause of death.

“All-cause mortality is being used because cause of death takes approximately eight weeks to be recorded,” the BCCDC said.

“Retrospective evaluations of underlying cause of death will be done by the BCCDC, in addition to the data provided in this report, to better understand true COVID-19 mortality.”

BC shares vaccination status of regulated health professions

On Tuesday, BC released the COVID-19 vaccination status of regulated health professionals for 17 of the 18 health regulatory colleges as of April 25th.

According to the provincial health officer, dieticians, physicians and surgeons are most vaccinated, while naturopathic physicians are least.

Here’s the complete list of registrant groups and the percentage of practising registrants vaccinated or medically exempt:

  • chiropractors: 78.1%
  • dental hygienists: 92.6%
  • dental technicians: 90.7%
  • dentists: 95.9%
  • dental assistants: 92.8%
  • denturists: 92.9%
  • dieticians: 98%
  • massage therapists: 87.9%
  • naturopathic physicians: 69.2%
  • occupational therapists: 96.9%
  • opticians: 94.9%
  • optometrists: 96%
  • pharmacists: 96.7%
  • pharmacy technicians: 96.8%
  • physical therapists: 95.2%
  • physicians and surgeons: 98%
  • psychologists: 96.1%
  • audiologists/hearing practitioners: 91.9%
  • speech-language pathologists: 92.9%
  • traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists: 79%

Health officials say the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives expects to complete its reporting in the coming weeks due to a large number of registrants.

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