COVID-19 Diary – Day 395

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 significant increase in new cases, and another new record set. We are also just starting the 3rd week of our extra EXTRA restrictions in BC, which means that we may begin to see an effect from it in the days to follow.

Unfortunately, BC is no longer attempting to sequence all VOC cases, or reporting the number of confirmed VOC cases in the province. As such we can no longer produce any of the VOC specific graphs. Please note, however, that the province is still using gene sequencing to study the virus, but has instead turned its attention to looking at the overall picture, and watching for potential new variants of concern that could emerge.

Due to an issue in BC’s case reporting system, the 7-day period of Feb 26-Mar 1 contains 68 additional cases that shouldn’t be included. Unfortunately, we do not know how many were allocated to which health authorities, so we can not remove them manually. This problem only affects the breakdown graphs (here and the one below).

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

The Fraser Health region has now seen 10 straight weeks of new case number growth, week to week, which is also the record for most number of weeks of growth in a row. Fraser Health also set a new record for the most new cases reported in a 7-day period at 4197, smashing the previous record of 3501 set last November.

Vancouver Coastal Health, on the other hand, did NOT see significant new case number growth compared to last week. It is unusual to see its curve flattened so significantly while Fraser Health’s is spiking so high.

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. Due to an issue in BC’s case reporting system, the 7-day period of Feb 26-Mar 1 contains 68 additional cases that shouldn’t be included. Unfortunately, we do not know how many were allocated to which health authorities, so we can not remove them manually. This problem only affects the breakdown graphs (here and the one above). During the week of Mar 23-29, the Interior Health region’s numbers were bumped up an additional 36 cases due to an error where historical cases from 2020 were previously missed.

Both the Vancouver Island and Interior Health regions are seeing continued spikes in their new case numbers, especially in the case of the Interior Health region which has nearly doubled its weekly new case numbers in just 14 days.

The Northern Health region continues to somehow dodge the growth trend, and stay incredibly steady by comparison. If you live in the Northern Health region, and have been part of the solution in keeping your numbers down, thank you very very much! And also thank you to everyone else out there doing their best in this difficult time. We’re going to get through this!

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

There are currently 9,937 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number represents an increase of about 1450 active cases from this time last week. The number of active cases had previously been slowly increasing over time, but is now spiking much higher in shorter periods of time. The current record for active COVID-19 cases in BC was set December of last year at 10,039, only about 100 cases higher than we have currently.

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.

Here we finally begin to see a little good news. With 3 points on a line pointing down, we officially have a trend moving in the right direction! New case growth is decreasing, albeit at a slow rate. As mentioned above in the post, the most recent restrictions went into place 2 weeks ago now, so we are only just beginning to see the effect they are having on our numbers.

This coming week will be crucial in seeing if the new restrictions are working.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 368 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19, and 121 of those are confined to the ICU. Our hospitalization numbers are continuing to rise, and are slowly approaching the previous record of 381, set earlier this year. Our ICU numbers are even more concerning though, as today we set a new record once again, for the 4th time in the last 7 days.

In the last 7 days, another 27 people in BC have died from COVID-19. The numbers appear to be settling in the 18-30 per week range it seems, which while lower than they were during the end of the second wave, are still much higher than they have been at most points in the pandemic.

And as always, we are sending our support and sympathy to all those who have experienced loss during this pandemic. Our thoughts are with you.

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 1,112,101 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 87,744 of these being a person’s second dose. As you can see from the above graph, second doses have completely flattened out now that the province is waiting 16 weeks between them.

As of today, 1,024,357 individuals have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, representing about 23.8% of BC’s population old enough to be eligible for the shots. This means roughly 5.1% of the eligible population of BC received their first shot in the last 7 days.

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 has once again increased quite significantly, by almost 3,500 vaccinations per day!

It’s hard to believe that 2 months ago we averaged ~2200 vaccinations a day, and now we’re doing more than 30,000 a day!

Vaccination Roll-out Update

Starting on Wednesday, anyone 50 or older may register online for their COVID-19 vaccination. By Monday April 19th that age limit will drop to people 40 or older. Incidentally, that implies that the author of this post will be able to register by the end of the month hopefully. (Yay!). More information on how to register online can be found here.

If you believe you qualify as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), and would like to learn more about how to get vaccinated through that route, you can find all the current details here. **PLEASE NOTE**: Guidance has recently changed and if you meet the CEV requirements, you are recommended to register even if you have not received your invitation yet.

Our province remains on track for getting everyone their first dose by July 1st (or sooner).

A Special Request:

Tomorrow (April 13th) is my birthday! And the very best gift you could give me would be to reach out to anyone you know that you haven’t heard from in a while, and just let them know you are thinking of them and you care (in whatever words or methods work best for you). We’ve all been so far apart from each other for so long, and it can really take a toll over time. Even reaching out to just 1 or 2 people could make a world of difference, and if you could do that for my birthday I would be extremely grateful.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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