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COVID hospitalizations up again in N.B.

By Brad Perry Oct 5, 2023 | 6:37 AM

New Brunswick is reporting an increase in COVID-related hospitalizations in its latest Respiratory Watch report.

Public Health says there were 58 hospital admissions between Sept. 17 and 23, with two people admitted to an intensive care unit.

That was compared to 51 hospitalizations and three ICU admissions the previous week.

A majority of the patients — 46 of them — were aged 65 and over. There were also 11 people aged 45 to 64 and one person under the age of five.

The two ICU admissions involved people aged 65 and over, according to the report from Public Health.

Two more deaths were reported in the hospital, all involving individuals aged 65 and over.

There were 102 new COVID cases reported, with the test positivity rate climbing slightly to 14 per cent.

In addition, there were 15 lab-confirmed COVID outbreaks reported during the period.

Health officials recently made changes to how COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations are tracked.

Public Health now defines a COVID death as “a confirmed case who was admitted to hospital and whose death occurred during their stay.”

“A death due to COVID-19 or influenza does not mean that it was necessarily the primary or contributing factor to the cause of death. Therefore, only deaths that occur in hospital will be reported,” said the department.

“Deaths that occur outside of hospital are subject to a reporting lag that can last months, while in-hospital deaths is a more timely indicator for disease severity.”

Hospital figures will now include patients hospitalized for and with COVID, not just those hospitalized because of complications from the disease.

Public Health said that aligns with the current reporting process they have in place for influenza.

“The department recognizes that both types of patients have an impact on the system,” said the statement.