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2,542 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, testing at maximum

Hospital cases up to 298, 78 more than New Year’s Eve
A Victoria pharmacy offers influenza vaccines with no appointment. B.C. pharmacies are increasingly delivering COVID-19 booster shots as well as flu shots. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. public health teams reported another 2,542 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as the rapid spread of the Omicron variant kept the province’s testing capacity at its maximum.

New cases have been running at more than 2,000 since Christmas, peaking at more than 4,000 on New Year’s Eve, but the true infection rate can be as high as three or four times that on a given day, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says. That’s especially likely as many people have mild upper respiratory symptoms from the new variant that is now dominant and either don’t or can’t get tested.

Hospital cases, last reported on New Year’s Eve, rose to 298 as of Jan. 4, up by 78 over the past four days. There are 86 patients in intensive care, up from 76 on Dec. 31. There have been four more deaths attributed to COVID-19 over the past four days.

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