COVID-19 Diary – Day 263

Weekly New Infections Charts

Every Monday we take a look at our week to week totals and chart how BC’s fight against COVID-19 is progressing. Because of the reporting schedule used in BC, we use 7-day totals running from Tuesday to Monday. The above chart shows each week of the pandemic as a unique bar.

As you can see above, our numbers continue to trend upwards on a week-to-week basis, despite significant restrictions that have been in place for over 3 weeks now. Additionally, the record for the largest number of new cases reported in a single day was broken twice last week and currently stands at 911 (Nov 27).

Looking now at how those numbers break down by health authority, we see that Fraser Health’s new case numbers are beginning to flatten. While we of course want to see a steep decline in numbers, this could be the precursor to such a trend.

Looking now at the Vancouver Coastal Health, it’s very encouraging to see the numbers in this region are now declining. Fraser Health has typically followed the same trends as Vancouver Coastal Health, so hopefully, we will see a similar decline in the following week or weeks.

Cases from outside of Canada began being reported during the week of Jul 7-13, and the initial spike of 51 cases reflects the data catching up

Over the course of the pandemic, with few exceptions, the Vancouver Island, Interior, and Northern Health authorities have all maintained relatively low new case numbers. Unfortunately in the last few weeks, this has begun to change. Interior Health is especially a concern right now, with their new case numbers more than doubling from week-to-week. If this trend holds, Interior Health could see similar numbers to Vancouver Coastal Health in just 1 week, or even surpass them. Northern Health is also trending upwards, but with less of a dramatic new case growth rate.

The number of active infections in BC is now approaching 9000. This number is likely to continue climbing even after new cases begin to decline, as it usually takes about 2 weeks to recover from the virus.

Week-to-Week Growth Rate

This is by far the most encouraging chart in our report today. For the 3rd week in a row, we are seeing a steady decline in the growth rate of new cases. If this trend continues we will see a negative growth rate, for the first time since September, in our new case numbers. This is extremely encouraging news, and also implies that the Diwali celebration 2 weeks ago did not set our numbers back in any noticeable way. We would like to sincerely send our thanks and appreciation to all the people in BC who chose to celebrate Diwali safely and responsibly!!

Hospitalizations & Deaths

The number of active hospitalizations in our province continues to increase steadily. Most notably the number of people currently in intensive care due to COVID-19 has now surpassed the previous record set during our first wave of the virus. The previous record was set at 72, which was surpassed on Sunday with 73, and today sits at 75.

In the live briefing earlier today, Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed that our Health Authorities still have sufficient bed capacity for the rising cases, and beyond the base and surge capacity there remain further emergency beds that can be utilized.

It is with great sadness that we must report that the number of deaths in our province continues to spike, with a 7-day total of 93 deaths this last week. This is nearly double the number of deaths in the previous 7-day period, and more than 5 times the number of deaths in the 7-day period before that. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by these losses, and it is our sincere hope that we can once again bring this number under control, and quickly!

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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