COVID-19 Diary – Day 346

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 from the above chart, in the last Tues-Mon 7 day period there has been another increase in new cases compared to the previous 7-day period. This is the second week in a row we have seen this happen.

While stricter restrictions officially remain in place, which limits households to only socialize among themselves (except in cases where people live alone), compliance with these rules appears to be in decline. Survey data was recently released that implies BC may have the lowest compliance rate in all of Canada, with roughly only 1 in 3 residents consistently following all COVID-19 health rules.

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

The Fraser Health region saw a significant increase in new case numbers in the last 7 days compared to the previous week. With 1846 new cases, the Fraser Health region represents more than half of all new cases reported in BC in the last week. The Vancouver Coastal Health region also saw an increase in new case numbers, but the numbers there seem to be fluctuating back and forth around the same average still.

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 both the Interior and Northern Health regions have seen significant drops in their new reported cases in the past 7 days. The Interior Health region specifically has seen a figurative rollercoaster type drop in their numbers to the point where they may soon have fewer new cases reported than the Vancouver Island Health region reports. Unfortunately, this is also partly due to the Vancouver Island Health region seeing a bounce back in new cases recently.

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

There are currently 4560 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number represents a notable up-turn in active cases compared to the last 5 or 6 weeks and is certainly related to the increase in newly reported cases in multiple health regions.

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.

Over the last 3 weeks, we have seen a concerning shift in our new case growth rate, and for the last 2 weeks in a row, we have seen a return to positive growth in our weekly cases. In the last 7 days, we saw 8.4% more new cases than the combined 7 days prior. This is the largest growth rate we’ve seen since the beginning of 2021.

This is a very concerning sign right now, especially with Variants of Concern existing in our province, with recent multiple exposure events. We all need to support each other in following the rules and restricting our social interactions to bring the new case growth rate back down again, as quickly as possible.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 223 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19, and 66 of those are confined to the ICU. These numbers are lower than they were last week at this time, but they continue to fluctuate up and down.

In the last 7 days, another 28 people in BC have died from COVID-19, 20 fewer than died in the previous 7-day total. This continues to be the lowest our 7-day deaths total has been since November of last year. Hopefully, this number will continue to drop as our vaccination numbers continue to increase among the most at-risk. As always, we would like to express our sympathies to all those who have lost someone they love or care about during these difficult days.

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 218,726 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 55,057 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. Seniors aged 80+ who live in their own homes will very shortly be able to receive one of the approved vaccine options.

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 daily average number of vaccinations given has jumped dramatically and set a new record even! The number of vaccine doses received in Canada, as well as in BC specifically, is expected to continue increasing from this point onward.

Personal Update:

As any of our long-time readers already know, this blog began by running daily posts discussing the current news and science surrounding BC and COVID-19. Eventually, in order to reduce the strain it was putting on me to research and write content, I cut back to 5 posts a week, Mon-Fri (and I took holidays off too!). What you may or may not know though is that I began this blog when I first went on leave from work due to COVID-19 in March of 2020 and continued it after being laid off a few months later. Then more recently I cut back to only writing these Monday update posts partly due to COVID-Fatigue and partly to focus more heavily on finding a new job.

Today (Feb 22nd) I am happy to say that I am once again employed and working full time. Unfortunately, this also makes it incredibly unlikely that I will be able to return to writing more than one post a week. There are so many topics I would really like to cover still, and I won’t completely rule out the occasional second post a week popping up, but I have no interest in posting content that isn’t well-vetted and informative, and that takes a lot of time and energy that I can’t commit to at this time.

At least for the foreseeable future, I will keep making these Monday posts, and I will try very hard to not let them become late! Thank you all for understanding, and for taking the time to read my posts!

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

One thought on “COVID-19 Diary – Day 346

  1. Thanks for all your hard work and efforts. I have always appreciated your dedication to keeping others fully informed about the science and other important news about the virus and its impact on the people of BC. Congrats on your new job too!

    Like

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