COVID-19 Diary – Day 277

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.

In the last 7-days, we have seen a continued downward trend in provincial new case numbers. This is the 2nd week in a row where we’ve seen fewer new cases than the week before it, although the drop is much smaller this time around.

We have not seen a new record for most new cases reported for a single day for 2.5 weeks, and the record still stands at 911 (Nov 27th).

To better understand how the provincial numbers break down, we now also look at individual health authority regions. As you can see from the above chart, Fraser Health, which has been the source of the majority of new cases for many months, is continuing to show fewer and fewer new cases each week. The Vancouver Coastal Health region is also showing a continuing decline in numbers.

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

The Vancouver Island Health area is showing very encouraging drops in their new case numbers and looks to be well on their way back to numbers closer to what they saw during the Summer.

Unfortunately, both Northern and Interior Health areas continue to show consistent growth week-to-week. The Interior Health region’s rate of growth is showing only a minimal decline, and if it continues on this course it may surpass the Vancouver Coastal region for weekly new cases soon. The Northern Health region’s growth has nearly flattened and hopefully will show a drop in week-to-week new case numbers starting next week.

There are now 10039 active COVID-19 infections in BC, which is also the record for the most there have ever been. This number tends to lag behind any major changes in new case numbers, as the incubation period of the virus is about 2 weeks. If our new case numbers continue to decline, we could begin to see the active case numbers finally begin to drop as well in another week.

Week-to-Week Growth Rate

This chart may be a little disheartening to many of our readers. After 4 weeks of momentum, the trend of decline in our new case growth rate has been broken. However, remember that a single point is not a trend, and there have been many ups and downs over the course of this pandemic. We are still showing negative growth, and that is by far the most important thing. There have also been several transmission events and outbreaks in the last week, and if we can get these under control we will hopefully see further growth rate decline in the coming weeks.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

The number of active hospitalizations in our province seems to be levelling off slowly. We are no longer seeing sharp increases on a daily or weekly basis. The number of people in ICU care is still slowly trending upwards though, and that remains a concern. As mentioned above, hospitalizations usually trail the new case numbers by a few weeks, so hopefully, we will begin seeing a decrease in numbers in the next week or two.

In the last 7-days, another 120 people in BC died from COVID-19. Many of these people were in long term care, and we wish to express our condolences to each and every person and family affected by their loss. This has been by far the worst week for COVID-19 related deaths in BC.

Vaccine Watch Update

Today marked a momentous occasion in Canada! Our first COVID-19 vaccine inoculations were officially performed! The vaccine has also arrived in BC as of last night, and BC’s initial inoculations are expected to begin tomorrow. Nearly 4000 people will be vaccinated in the coming days until the arrival of our next doses.

In other news, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi announced recently that their COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been delayed likely until the end of 2021, due to poor immune response in current trials of people over 60. Canada has a purchasing agreement for up to 72 million doses of this vaccine, but our national vaccination projections are unlikely to shift due to Canada’s abundance of caution in pre-ordering from 7 different potential suppliers.

This news comes just weeks after AstraZeneca similarly announced a delay and the need for further study of the vaccine they have been developing, after inconsistent immune response and alleged significant errors in inoculation dosage. It is not yet known how long this may delay the vaccine’s approval.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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