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B.C. COVID-19 hospitalizations climb for the first time since February

The province recorded four more people in hospital with the virus on Wednesday, March 23
FILE - Commuters wear face masks and social distance. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

After weeks of declining cases, B.C.’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen slightly.

On Wednesday (March 23), the province reported 258 people in hospital with the virus, 49 of whom are in intensive care. That’s an increase of four people in the last 24 hours and one more patient in ICU. This is the first time since Feb. 7 that B.C. has reported an increase in hospitalizations.

Not all people in hospital with COVID-19 are there because of complications with the virus, however, hospitalizations are a lagging indicator of COVID-19 infections more broadly.

B.C. also reported 269 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death, bringing the total number of British Columbians who have died since the pandemic began to 2,975 out of 354,603 recorded cases.

Outbreaks at Hillside Village long-term care residence, The Heights at Mt. View, Yucalta Lodge, Selkirk Seniors Village and Surrey Memorial Hospital remain ongoing.

The province has expanded access to COVID-19 rapid tests to all British Columbians aged 18 and up. Individuals can access test kits through their local pharmacy by displaying their personal health number.

Tests should not be picked up while people are symptomatic to prevent spreading the virus. The province recommends using the tests when symptomatic to get the most reliable results.

READ MORE: Everyone 18+ in B.C. can now access free rapid tests


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