COVID-19 Diary – Day 430

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 fifth week in a row our new case number 7-day totals have dropped. Last week we saw roughly 900 fewer new cases reported compared to the previous week. Our 7-day totals are now nearly at the same place they were near the end of our second wave. We still have a long way to go before we hit first wave numbers, but we’re well on our way!

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.

We are continuing to see significant improvements from the Fraser Health region! But while the number of new cases there are dropping quickly, this one region still represents about 62% of all new cases in the province. Vancouver Coastal Health is also still seeing a decline in new cases, but at a much slower rate now.

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 continuing to see drops in their new case numbers. Both Northern and Vancouver Island Health regions seem to be in a race to see which region can hit its first wave numbers first. It’s great to see this kind of HEALTHY competition!

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

There are currently 5,021 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number represents a decrease of more than 1100 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 another decrease in our new case growth rate! Our province saw a new case growth rate of -20%! Not only is this the 5th week of sustained negative growth of new cases, but it’s also almost the lowest growth rate we’ve seen during the pandemic. This is incredibly encouraging to see, and shows we can absolutely get our numbers back down, even when fighting against the much more virulent variants of concern.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 350 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19, and 132 of those are confined to the ICU. Non-critical hospitalizations are falling quite quickly now, but ICU numbers are dropping much slower by comparison.

In the last 7 days, another 24 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 while this isn’t entirely unexpected, it is still terrible and painful to see week after week. Hopefully soon we will see this number drop to substantially. Even 1 death is too many.

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 2,528,398 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 130,073 of these being a person’s second dose. It’s very hard to tell on the graph currently, but second doses have begun to pick up again too! In the last 7 days, we averaged about 3,430 second doses a day.

As of today, 2,398,325 individuals have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, representing about 55.8% of BC’s adult population (and 46.6% of the total population of BC, including those under 18). This means roughly 8% of the adult 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 hit a new record for BC, at 52,756!

We are still on course for every 18+ person in BC to receive at least one dose of vaccine by July 1st. In fact, based on the numbers above, we will probably hit this goal before June 15th, depending on how many adult accept the vaccine.

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 12-17 year olds may be able to also register are still a little sketchy, but there are now reports coming in saying that Surrey students over 12 will be able to register to be vaccinated later this week. Other school districts are likely to follow suit.

There is still no new news on when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may become available for us in BC (or anywhere in Canada). However, if a determination on it is not made in the next 3-4 weeks or so, it may no longer matter.

In more personal news, the author of this blog is happy to share that as of Friday he has received his first dose of vaccine! And if the wonderful health care worker who gave him the shot is reading this, here is the promised link to the study on the benefits of delaying the 2nd Pfizer dose for 12 weeks (click here).

If you are looking for a way to promote vaccination, you may be interested in being part of the Canadian vaccination campaign: This is Our Shot. Information can be found here.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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