Just over 5,000 British Columbians have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started in March 2020, in the latest report by the BC Centre for Disease Control.
The figure — and the grim milestone it represents — appears in the latest available figures as of Jan. 14.
The Fraser Health Authority has recorded the highest number of deaths with 1,975, followed by Vancouver Coastal with 1,176 and Interior Health with 815. Vancouver Island Health recorded 630 and Northern Health recorded 411.
B.C. recorded 27 new deaths with 268 individuals hospitalized for the week of Jan. 14. The number of new reported cases was 560.
Figures recording severe COVID-19 outcomes such as new hospital admissions, new critical care admissions and deaths are relatively stable or declining, researchers noted.
The latest update also finds that the influenza epidemic “continued its steep decline” from its earlier-than-usual peak in mid-November.
The positivity rate for respiratory syncytial virus remains “high” at 15 per cent, well ahead of the positivity rate for influenza at 2.2 per cent and higher than RSV’s historical average at 6.2 per cent.
RSV continues to be the most commonly detected virus among children and youth aged 18 and younger, but test positivity has been declining from a peak of 43 per cent at the end of last year to to 22 per cent in mid-January. This figure is lower than pre-pandemic historical RSV averages year-on-year, at 25.9 per cent.