COVID-19 Diary – Day 444

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 sixth week in a row our new case number 7-day totals have dropped. Last week we saw roughly 740 fewer new cases reported compared to the previous week. Our 7-day totals are continuing to drop below the numbers seen at the end of our second wave, and represent a 75% reduction from our third wave peak in April.

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 massive improvements from the Fraser Health region! Previously the Fraser Health region’s new cases made up nearly 2/3rds of all new cases in BC, but as of this past week, the number is now just barely over 1/2 of all cases.

Unfortunately, the Vancouver Coastal Health region saw an increase in new cases numbers compared to the previous week. This may be due in part to the 2 outbreaks currently being monitored in the health region, one of which was only declared on Thursday.

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.

In the above chart you can see that the Vancouver Island and Northern health regions are both continuing to see fewer and fewer new cases each week. In fact, both regions are now reporting well under 100 new cases over the past 7 days!

Unfortunately, the Interior Health region appears to have hit a plateau, with its new case numbers fluctuating back and forth between 300 and 350 in a 7-day period. Hopefully these numbers will start dropping again soon.

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

There are currently 2,953 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number represents a decrease of exactly 1000 active cases from this time last week. BC’s number of active cases has been dropping by roughly 1000 every week for 6 weeks now.

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 -27.6%! Not only is this the 7th week of sustained negative growth of new cases, but it’s also the lowest growth rate we’ve seen during the entire course of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 249 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19, and 78 of those are confined to the ICU. Non-critical hospitalizations are falling quite quickly now, and the ICU numbers are dropping almost as quickly! Our COVID-19 hospitalization numbers have not been this low since mid-March of this year.

In the last 7 days, another 24 people in BC have died from COVID-19. The numbers have been sitting in the 16-30 (ish) range since earlier this year in February, and this week’s numbers are no exception. If you are feeling frustrated that these numbers continue to stay so high, you are certainly not alone!

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 3,250,161 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 179,954 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 4,687 second doses a day.

As of today, 3,070,207 individuals have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, representing about 59.6% of BC’s total population. This also represents 66.1% of all BC residents 12 and over, and 69.7% of all adults in BC.

Roughly 6.4% of the people in BC received their first dose of vaccine 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 in BC was 52,096. It looks like our vaccination numbers are plateauing around the ’52k per week’ point currently. We may yet see this average go up again though, as we are expecting even higher volumes of vaccine to arrive in June compared to May.

We are still on course for every 18+ person in BC to receive at least one dose of vaccine by July 1st. In fact, with the recent drop in age restriction, and the increase in supply we’re expecting in June, it’s very likely every person in BC aged 12 and over will be able to get their first dose by July 1st even.

Vaccination Roll-out Update

With a majority of BC residents now having received their first dose of vaccine, many of you may be wondering when you will get your second shot. Recently the expected time frame between shots was dropped from 16 weeks to 8 weeks. However, there is now a large backlog to people suddenly eligible for their second shots, so priority is being assigned according to the same methods used for the initial dose.

If you would like to check to see when you can expect to be invited to book your second vaccination shot, you will want to check BC’s Health Gateway portal. The Health Gateway contains such information as your prescription medication history, the results of any COVID-19 tests you’ve taken, your immunization records, and eventually it will also be able to show you your lab results from any lab work you may have needed previously. Visit the Health Gateway here for more information.

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 few weeks, it may no longer matter.

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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