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

COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care (ICU) admissions have dropped slightly in BC, including on Vancouver Island.

BC’s COVID-19 Dashboard currently shows 550 people in hospital with the virus, a decrease from the 570 reported last week. Across the province, 39 people are in ICU.

Within the Island Health region specifically, 67 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including three ICU patients.

The BC Centre for Disease Control has released its weekly COVID-19 update, reporting 2,283 new cases of COVID-19, including 379 in Island Health, bumping the island’s total case count to 34,884 since the pandemic began.

The report released Thursday shows that between April 24th to 30th, BC saw 15 new deaths in Island Health and 50 province-wide.

The 15 additional deaths increased the region’s overall COVID-19 death toll to 297, but health officials say the number of deaths and hospitalizations is subject to change.

They also note adjustments have been made to how these deaths are reported.

All deaths within 30 days of a person’s positive COVID-19 lab result are now reported, regardless of whether COVID-19 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.”

SEE ALSO: Here’s what you can expect when BC switches to weekly COVID-19 updates

BC scrapped its daily COVID-19 reports on new cases, hospitalizations and deaths earlier this month. 

According to the Ministry of Health, the new weekly reporting approach aligns with a shift from a ‘case-management’ model to a ‘surveillance’ approach.

Officials say the approach focuses on identifying changes in COVID-19 trends over time across different regions of the province, similar to how the government monitors for other serious respiratory illnesses.

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