COVID-19 Diary – Day 409

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.

For the second week in a row we are seeing a drop in new cases here in BC. The numbers are not dropping quite as quickly as they were increasing, but the drops are still quite significant. Specifically, about 1000 fewer new cases were reported in the last 7 days, than in the week previous.

There are 4 more weeks remaining in the planned extension of our current restrictions. While no guarantees can be made, if we can keep this momentum going with the case counts dropping, it seems likely we would see many restrictions lifted again after the May long weekend.

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.

New case numbers have finally begun to drop in the Fraser Health region, after several months of consistent growth. The Vancouver Coastal Health region is also continuing to see large drops in new case numbers. This is very encouraging!

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.

While all 3 health regions shown above are experiencing major drops in new case numbers, it is worth singling out Northern Health specifically as its numbers have not been this low since the first week of December last year! Hopefully this means it has broken out of the back-and-forth fluctuations in numbers it has been seeing these past 5 months!

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

There are currently 8,199 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number represents a decrease of about 1,150 active cases from this time last week. This is a substantial decline in active cases! As you can see from the above graph the numbers are dropping almost as quickly as they rose up a few months ago!

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.

BC’s new case growth rate has been in a steady decline for 4 straight weeks now! Last week saw the growth rate drop to -13.9%, the lowest it’s been since January. If we can keep our growth rate around this point, or bring it even lower, we will be in a very good place come the end of May long weekend.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 484 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19, and 158 of those are confined to the ICU. Last week BC set a new record for both numbers, with 502 hospitalizations on April 22nd, and 163 in the ICU as of April 21st.

Currently it seems like hospitalizations may be starting to plateau, but it is still too soon to be sure we have turned the corner.

In the last 7 days, another 33 people in BC have died from COVID-19. The numbers have been sitting in the 16-30 range for a few months now, and this week’s numbers are a little above what we have come to expect. It may imply that we are seeing a very slow but steady increase in deaths over the months, or it may just be an aberration in the pattern. Deaths always lag behind hospitalizations, and we’ve been seeing very high hospitalizations for some time now, so this is something we need to keep a close eye on for the time being.

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 1,635,372 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 89,035 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, 1,546,337 individuals have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, representing about 36% of BC’s population old enough to be eligible for the shots. This means roughly 5.9% 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 dropped slightly compared to the previous week. This is most likely due to a slight delay and reduction in volume of doses coming from Moderna.

The good news is that we are expecting additional doses of Pfizer tomorrow, additional doses from Moderna at the end of the week, and our very first shipment of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine sometime next week! So we should be blasting ahead again very soon.

We are still on course for every 18+ person in BC to receive at least one dose of vaccine by July 1st.

Vaccination Roll-out Update

At this point all people 18 and over are now able to register to be vaccinated. If you haven’t done this yet, please do as soon as possible!

At this time BC has used the majority of its AstraZeneca doses, and there is no concrete timeline for when more may be arriving. We do know that President Biden spoke today about releasing the US’a stockpile of nearly 60 million doses of AstraZeneca, over the next few months. It is unknown at this time how much of that (if any) may be coming to Canada. We do know though, that the US is enthusiastic about restoring tourism between our two countries, and it seems likely they would want Canada’s vaccination program to move as quickly as possible to make that happen.

We currently do not know what BC Public Health’s plan for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be. We do know that it isn’t finalized yet, but will be soon.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: