by Ewa Sudyk
Published:January 10, 2022
British Colombia followed Ontario in admitting reported hospitalization numbers don’t accurately convey actual hospitalizations due to COVID-19 infections.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry admitted individuals who went into hospital for other conditions — and happened to test positive in arrival screening — are being tallied in COVID-19 hospitalization numbers.
This information surfaced as Henry was asked last Friday about accuracy of hospitalization numbers.
“We’re trying to tease apart people who are in hospital from COVID, people who are in hospital with COVID, and people who are in hospital because COVID exacerbated one of the underlying conditions,” she said.
“It’s not easy to do that, except by going and looking at every individual chart.”
That means people who tested positive upon arrival for other treatments, those who catch the virus in the hospital, and those admitted for COVID-19 are all categorized together even though severity is different.
Henry said the province is in need of a more automated and accurate system.
Adrian Dix, B.C. Health Minister, revealed the hospital beds were at a higher use before the pandemic began.
Dix said B.C.’s hospital beds are currently at 95.1% capacity, but operated at 103.5% during the flu season before COVID-19 began.
“It’s not just an issue of we have this many beds available,” he said. “It’s also a significant staffing issue, which is why we’re taking the steps we are taking.”