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.
Our week-to-week new case numbers continue to drop, now for a third week in a row. In the last 7-days, there were 665 fewer cases than the previous week before it. Another way to look at the data is we averaged almost 100 fewer new cases per day than in the previous week. This is a significant drop in new cases, and it is very encouraging to see this trend continue.
We have not seen a new record for most new cases reported for a single day for 3.5 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. In the last 7-days, the Fraser Health region’s new infection numbers dipped even further from the week prior. The new case numbers in the Vancouver Coastal area are also declining still, but not at quite so dramatic a rate.
Thankfully, the Interior Health region has finally begun to show improvements with their new case numbers. In the last 7-days, there have been far fewer new cases than in the previous week. After so many steep increases in numbers, this turn of the tide is most welcome.
Unfortunately, the Northern Health region is still seeing a steady increase in new cases. It is now the only region still seeing regular increases in their 7-day totals. This is likely due to the 5 active outbreaks they are currently fighting, including two at liquified natural gas (LNG) work sites in Kitimat.
The Vancouver Island Health area is continuing to show rapid improvement and declining new case numbers.
There are now 9718 active COVID-19 infections in BC, which is the lowest they have been in 10 days. It is also 321 fewer active cases than we reported last Monday. It is still a bit early for celebration, but see this number finally start to come down is very positive.
Week-to-Week Growth Rate
Last week we reported the discouraging news about the trend of weeks with declining growth rates being broken and mentioned that we hoped it would just be a spike. Thankfully, this week we are once again seeing a significant negative growth rate in week-to-week numbers. If we can keep this going for 3 more weeks, we will be in a much safer place in the early new year.
Hospitalizations & Deaths
Both regular hospitalizations and intensive care unit hospitalizations are starting to show small declines in their numbers. Because of the incubation period of COVID-19, we do not see the effects of improvements factor into these numbers until several weeks later. So the changes we are now seeing are likely due to efforts made 3-4 weeks ago now. Hopefully, this will be the start of a new trend.
In the last 7-days, another 118 people in BC died from COVID-19. Many of these people were in long term care, and each of their lives held value regardless of age or health care situation. The number of weekly deaths continues to be very high, averaging almost 17 a day currently.
Vaccine Watch Update
Today Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed that as of Friday last week over 3,600 COVID-19 vaccinations have now taken place in BC (initial dose of 2 doses). They also confirmed that starting today the vaccine was now available in all 5 of BC’s health regions across the province! Due to the logistical difficulties involved with BioNTech/Pfizer’s vaccine, health care workers will still need to travel to specific locations to receive the inoculations, and it is still not possible to bring vaccinations to care homes. BC Public Health is hoping both of these issues will be able to be resolved shortly, either with approval from BioNTech of their transport plans or with the approval of Moderna’s much easier to transport vaccine option.
Speaking of Moderna’s vaccine candidate, as of this past weekend, Health Canada now has received all the documents needed to make a decision on whether to grant it limited approval for use in Canada. It previously took about 5 days to complete the approval process after receiving the last documents from BioNTech/Pfizer, but things are expected to move slower this time around. Moderna is a relatively new company with no previous relationship with Health Canada, and regulators have suggested the decision would be ready in the coming weeks.
That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!