COVID-19 Diary – Day 332

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.

Two weeks ago Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned that our new case numbers had stalled at approximately 500 cases a day. Since that time, our daily average number of new cases dropped to about 445, and in the last 7 days has now dropped to ~430. While this is still positive news, it clearly shows that our new case numbers are not dropping very quickly.

On Friday last week, the announcement was made that our increased social restrictions, which had originally been planned to expire on Feb 5th, would be extended indefinitely until our numbers drop more significantly.

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

The Fraser Health region saw an increase in new case numbers in the last 7 days compared to the previous week. At 1427, the Fraser Health region represents just under half of all new cases reported in BC in the last week. The numbers are likely due to the 15 active and on-going outbreaks in the Fraser area, some of which go as far back as mid-November. Hopefully, as these come better under control, we will see the new case numbers drop again.

There is good news though, both the Vancouver Coastal and Interior Health regions reported big drops in their 7-day new case totals! Both of these areas have been fluctuating back and forth quite a bit, but hopefully, they will continue dropping. It’s worth mentioning that this is now the 3rd week in a row that the Interior Health region has seen big drops in new cases, which is the longest downward trend for them in the last 4 months!

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 above graph shows us that the Northern Health region has seen an increase in new cases over the last 7 days. In fact, they are now dangerously close to having more new cases in a week than the Interior Health region. Thankfully, the Vancouver Island Health region has begun to show decreases in new case numbers.

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

There are currently 3976 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number is the lowest we’ve seen since November 6th last year. While the number of active cases in BC has been fluctuating up and down since Mid-January, it looks like we may be seeing more significant drops again now.

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, our new case numbers have continued to drop, but the rate at which they are dropping has decreased from -8% to just -3.1%. This implies a decrease in momentum in the drop of new case numbers in the province. The good news is that we are still seeing a decrease in overall numbers, but this should serve as a reminder that we are still on the edge of seeing our numbers begin to increase week-to-week again. Let us all do our best to limit our interactions just a little bit longer.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 234 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19, and 69 of them are in ICU. It has been since November 20th that we’ve had so few people hospitalized with this disease. The number of hospitalizations has almost been cut in half since its peak around the end of last year. The number of patients in ICU is also dropping, but not quite as quickly. These numbers are all very encouraging for our province!

In the last 7 days, another 49 people in BC have died from COVID-19, 7 fewer than died in the previous 7-day total. This is the lowest our 7-day deaths total has been since November of last year. While it is very encouraging to see this number continue to drop, especially after such a brutal December last year, it’s important to remember that even 1 death is too many. As always, our hearts go out to all those grieving the loss of their loved ones and family members.

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 154,496 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 12,111 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.

Dr. Bonnie Henry has confirmed that about 90% of all residents and staff of long-term and assisted living care homes have now received at least their first dose of the vaccine.

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 even further shortages with vaccine supplies. Thankfully we have been told that the number of doses per shipment to BC should now begin increasing again, and Health Canada has said we should now be through the worst of the shortages.

This doesn’t mean we can expect to see an immediate return to 4-5,000 doses per day, but hopefully, we will see a higher daily dose average on our next weekly report.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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