COVID-19 Diary – Day 416

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 third week in a row our new case number 7-day totals have dropped. Last week we saw roughly 800 fewer new cases reported compared to the previous week. This means that our current 7-day total numbers are within about 100 cases of the peak point during our second wave late last year. So it is safe to say that while our new case numbers are continuing to drop, it is still too soon to relax our efforts.

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 are continuing to drop in both the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions. Unfortunately, the rate at which new cases are dropping in the Fraser Health region is much slower than that of Vancouver, or other health regions.

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.

All 3 of the above health regions are seeing drops in their new case numbers. Most notably the Interior and Northern Health regions are seeing massive drops in their reported new case numbers! The Vancouver Island Health region isn’t seeing quite as dramatic a reduction in new cases however.

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

There are currently 7,327 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number represents a decrease of almost 900 active cases from this time last week. This is yet another 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.

In the last 7 days BC has seen a slight increase in our new case growth rate. Luckily, it’s only a shift of 1% (from -13.9% to -12.9%.), so there is no reason to be concerned at this time. Much more importantly, our growth rate continues to stay well below 0%, which means our week-to-week new case totals are still dropping. Lets all do our best to keep the growth rate at least this low for the last 3 weeks of increased restrictions (until the May long weekend).

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 474 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19, and 176 of those are confined to the ICU. Last week BC set a new record for both numbers, with 515 hospitalizations on April 28th, and 178 in the ICU as of April 29th.

Our hospitalization numbers now appear to be declining finally! Our ICU numbers, however, are remaining comparably steady at these very high numbers.

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, and this week’s numbers are no exception. Deaths always lag behind hospitalizations, so hopefully with our hospitalization numbers now finally in decline, we may begin to see fewer and fewer deaths again, perhaps in the next 2-3 weeks.

As always, our hearts go out to everyone who has lost someone during this pandemic.

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 1,877,330 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 91,731 of these being a person’s second dose. As you can see from the above graph, second doses have completely flattened out.

As of today, 1,785,589 individuals have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, representing about 41.5% of BC’s population old enough to be eligible for the shots (and 34.7% of the total population of BC, including those under 18). This means roughly 5.6% 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 BC will be receiving 276k doses of Pfizer vaccine every week this month, not including additional increased doses from Moderna as well! This means that our average daily vaccination numbers should surpass 40k soon.

We are still on course for every 18+ person in BC to receive at least one dose of vaccine by July 1st. In fact, BC Public Health is now expecting to complete this process well before July 1st, according to today’s public briefing.

Vaccination Roll-out Update

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! Details on when 16 and 17 year olds may be able are said to be in the works.

At this time BC has used almost all of its AstraZeneca doses, and there is no concrete timeline for when more may be arriving. Health Canada has confirmed that they are working on sourcing additional doses, however. While there are currently no plans for mixing vaccine doses, Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed that she and experts at Health Canada are watching “mix and match” studies being done out of the UK, to see if any benefits can be found.

Canada currently has a small amount of Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses on hand, which NACI today confirmed they recommend for use on people aged 30 or older. But at this time these doses are on hold pending quality assurance testing, and an ongoing investigation by the US FDA into a facility that produced one of the key ingredients of the vaccine. The doses will not be released for use until it has been confirmed there are no issues with them.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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