COVID-19 Diary – Day 242

Weekly Chart Update

It’s Monday and that means it’s time for another chart update. We see from the above chart that last week’s total case count was more than 1,000 cases higher than the previous week’s total. This marks the first time we’ve seen week-to-week numbers with such a high increase between them. The record for most cases reported for a single day was also broken twice last week, with the current daily record sitting at 589. Here is how our daily numbers compare to other parts of Canada:

  • Quebec: 1,397 (Nov 8th)
  • Ontario: 1,328 (Nov 8th)
  • Alberta: 919 (Nov 7th)
  • British Columbia: 589 (Nov 6th)
  • Manitoba: 441 (Nov 8th)
  • Saskatchewan: 190 (Nov 9th)
  • Nova Scotia: 55 (Apr 23rd)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 32 (Mar 25th)
  • New Brunswick: 20 (Oct 10th)
  • Prince Edward Island: 7 (Mar 30th)
  • Yukon: 3 (Oct 23rd)
  • Northwest Territories: 2 (Oct 21st)
  • Nunavut: 1 (Nov 8th)
  • (Data from CTV’s Corona Tracker page here)

We can see that all provinces in Canada that have had more than 100 cases in a single day are currently going through new record-setting resurgences. Some provinces, most notably in the Maritimes have managed to stave off major increases so far, however.

From the above graph, we can see that our growth rate is holding steady between ~25-50% for the last 4 weeks now. This is a substantial increase from the previous 7-15% growth we had been seeing beforehand.

In her press briefing this afternoon, Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned that she is hoping to see the first signs of benefit from her recent public health orders by the end of next week, hopefully in the form of reduced numbers.

BC Risk’s Return to Severe Restrictions

While BC has been lucky to never require a full lock-down or shelter-in-place order, back in March we were subject to much harsher restrictions than we currently have to manage. Today at his first public appearance since the recent provincial election, Premier John Horgan stated that if we are unable to bend the curve of infections soon, we may need to return to the stricter requirements from earlier in the pandemic. This could mean the closure of all non-essential businesses again, and possibly schools as well. British Columbia has been very consistent in telling residents what needs to happen and giving everyone the opportunity to make the necessary choices willingly, before imposing strict regulations if the situation does not resolve.

Let us all do our best to help prevent the need for stricter rules. And also remember to remind our friends and family who may be slipping, that these changes to our daily life are only necessary for now, so we can have a better tomorrow together.

Rent Freeze to Stay in Effect

The Premier’s speech wasn’t all doom and gloom however, he also shared that the freeze on rent increases will continue from now until July 10, 2021. When asked by the press about the likelihood of further extensions, Horgan replied that it was only able to be extended to July 10th at this time and that 2 additional extensions would be needed to continue the rent freeze until the end of 2021, to meet their campaign promise. He further clarified that this current rent freeze should only be seen as an interim measure. Those whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19 and rent their homes will undoubtedly be happy to hear this news.

Pfizer / Biontech Report Vaccine Effectiveness over 90%

In news spreading joyfully across the world today, Pfizer / Biontech announced via press release that their initial findings show a greater than 90% effectiveness for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. While the test data has not yet been released to health authorities, we know that it shows the vaccine should be effective in the vast majority of individuals starting 7 days after the 2nd dose is received. This means that once inoculations begin, it will still take almost 1 month before immunity sets in.

Canada has already signed a purchase agreement to receive a fair share of this vaccine as it becomes available. The two companies say they will be able to supply 50 million doses worldwide by the end of this year and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021. You can read the full press release here.

AstraZeneca Claims Vaccine Nearly Ready

Not to be outdone, AstraZeneca was quick to share the news that they believe their vaccine will be ready by this coming December, and vaccinations could begin as early as January 2021, or possibly even the end of December, depending on how quickly regulatory bodies approve the product once their data is ready. AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate is now well into their Phase III trials and is actively anticipating their results shortly.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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