COVID-19 Diary – Day 318

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.

Today in her live briefing Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned that our new case numbers have stalled at approximately 500 cases a day. If we take a look at the last 35 days and take the average number of daily reported new cases, the number works out to ~507. She also confirmed that these numbers are too high still, and it leaves us on a precipice for a serious resurgence. She has asked us all to do everything we can to reduce all social interactions over the next 2 weeks, to help bend the curve back down to where we need it to be. She also mentioned that additional restrictions may be required if we fail to get our numbers down further. This is especially important as our vaccine supply has been heavily reduced for the next 2-4 weeks.

To better understand how the provincial numbers break down, we also look at the individual health authority regions.

In the last 7 days, we have seen a slightly higher new case total compared to the previous week’s. These numbers break down to show us that both the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions have seen increases in new cases lately. There are currently 6 active outbreaks in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, including 2 at hospitals. The Fraser Health region has 19 active outbreaks currently, with 4 at hospitals.

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

We see mostly good news looking at the remaining health regions now. The Interior and Northern Health regions have both seen reductions in their 7-day new case totals, and currently have 6 and 3 active outbreaks remaining respectively. Unfortunately, the Vancouver Island Health region has just seen its highest 7-day new case total, setting a new record at 186 new cases. The Vancouver Island Health region currently has 2 active outbreaks.

Some data points have had to been estimated by averaging values, specifically Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays without specific reporting figures.

There are currently 4392 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number is a little higher than our recent best record of 4326, which was set on January 18th. Our province has fluctuated between 4300 and 4500 active cases for the last 9 days.

Week-to-Week Growth Rate

This graph tracks the growth rate between 7-day totals and is a good indicator of the overall momentum of new case numbers.

In the last 7 days, we have seen a significant increase in our growth rate, bringing it back across the line to “positive growth”. This is the opposite of what we want to see and means our numbers are increasing again. Dr. Bonnie Henry has confirmed that if we are not able to bend the curve back down and get our numbers back down again, we will see additional restrictions soon.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Our hospitalization numbers have seen a recent spike upwards in the last 7 days, but overall still remain much lower than they were several weeks ago. So far our ICU numbers seem to be continuing their slow but steady decline though.

In the last 7 days, another 76 people in BC have died from COVID-19, 8 more than died in the previous 7-day total, which was 4 more than the total before that. It is disheartening to see this number on the rise again, especially while our new case numbers have been relatively stable for the last 5 weeks or so. As always, our sincere condolences and hearts go out to all those affected by loss during this pandemic.

Vaccination Roll-Out

Numbers over holidays and weekends have been estimated based on averages between known reported totals.
Individual days may be +/- but the totals per week are accurate.

Since the beginning of our vaccination program on December 15th, there have been a combined 119,850 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 3193 of these being a person’s second and final dose. The focus is currently on health care workers and those deemed to be at the highest risk, primarily in care homes.

The above chart shows the average number of vaccinations for each 7-day period since the beginning of the vaccination program. As you can see in the last 7 days the province has continued to run into shortages with vaccine supplies, a problem that is expected to get worse over the next few weeks.

Today Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed this afternoon that due to significant shortages in vaccine supplies, 2nd doses would now be held for up to 42 days for both Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations. This time frame is on the outer end of what is considered acceptable by the vaccine manufacturers, with the minimum timeframe being 21 or 28 days. Under ideal supply conditions, BC normally waits 35 days between doses.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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