COVID-19 Diary – Day 402

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.

After 9 weeks straight of increases in our weekly-total new case numbers, we are happy to announce that the streak has finally come to an end. In the last Tues-Mon 7-day period, BC public health reported 698 fewer cases than the week before! This most recent week of reporting is also the week that we would see the beginning of the effect from the most recent new set of provincial health restrictions (most notably closing restaurants for indoor dining).

This is a major step in the right direction, and hopefully provides some comfort to those of you who are exhausted from doing everything you can to prevent the further spread of this virus.

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 is now on its 11th straight week of seeing their weekly new case number total continue to increase. Thankfully, this is also the only region still seeing new case increases.

The Vancouver Coastal Health region has seen their weekly new case total drop nearly 20% from the previous week, bringing their current 7-day total to just below the numbers seen during the week of March 23-29!

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 saw a dramatic drop in new cases in the last 7 days, ranging between 20-25%. By comparison the Northern Health region only saw a 15% drop in new cases, keeping it in line with the up-and-down fluctuations it has been seeing since late last year.

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

There are currently 9,353 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number represents a decrease of about 580 active cases from this time last week. The number of active cases had previously been increasing for some time, but appears to finally be in decline again.

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.

Last week we declared a downward trend in the new case growth rate. This week we can confirm that the trend is not only continuing, but that we have once again reached a negative growth rate! In the past 7 days, the growth rate dropped more than 26%. While this is not the largest drop in growth rate we’ve seen over the pandemic, it is one of the more substantial ones.

The restrictions that were put in place 3 weeks ago have since been extended to last another 5 weeks. If we can keep our growth rate in the negatives for this period of time, we will be in much better shape when we come out of it!

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 441 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19 (a new record), and 138 of those are confined to the ICU. Despite the drop in new cases, our hospitalization numbers are continuing to rise. Our ICU numbers are also a significant concern and continue to break new records.

Hospitalization numbers typically are a few weeks behind new case numbers, so we may still see these numbers increase for a little while longer, before we see the benefit from the reduction in new cases.

In the last 7 days, another 25 people in BC have died from COVID-19. The numbers have been sitting in the 16-30 range for a few months now, but also appear to be very slowly trending downwards. The good news is that we so far have avoided seeing a third wave of deaths in our province, most likely due to the age based vaccination program that is now protecting all of the highest risk people of BC. The bad news is that we are still seeing far too many deaths every day because of this virus.

It also needs to be acknowledged that over the weekend a 2-year old toddler lost their life due to COVID-19. This is the youngest person to have died from the disease in the province.

And as always, we are sending our support and sympathy to all those who have experienced loss during this pandemic, especially to the family that lost their 2-year old child. 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 1,380,160 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 87,970 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, 1,292,190 individuals have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, representing about 30% of BC’s population old enough to be eligible for the shots. This means roughly 6.5% 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 more than 7,000 vaccinations per day!

It’s hard to believe that 2 months ago we averaged ~2200 vaccinations a day, and now we’re doing almost 40,000 a day! If our roll-out stopped accelerating and just kept going at the current rate of ~38k vaccinations (on average) per day, every 18+ person in BC who wants one would be able to receive their first dose before July 1st.

Vaccination Roll-out Update

Starting on Tuesday, anyone 35 or older may register online for their COVID-19 vaccination. By Friday April 23rd that age limit will drop to people 18+ or older! Of course the ability to register to be vaccinated is not the same as being able to book your vaccination date, but it’s the important first step!

Additionally, the age range for getting the AstraZeneca vaccine has been expanded so anyone 40 years or older may now register with a local pharmacy to get their shot right away!

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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