COVID-19 Diary – Day 451

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 seventh week in a row our new case number 7-day totals have dropped. Last week we saw 700 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 an 84% 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! Back in April we were seeing more than 600 new cases a day from this area, and it is now down to just over 100 cases a day, and still dropping.

Thankfully, the Vancouver Coastal Health region is also seeing decreases in new cases numbers again! It is now averaging 37 new cases a day, and dropping.

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 as few as 2-5 cases a day on average!

We are also happy to report that the Interior Health region has seen another significant drop in new cases again, finally. It had seemed like this area had plateaued, but in the last 7 days has seen the average new case number drop to 31 from the previous week’s 45.

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

There are currently 2,102 known active cases of COVID-19 in BC. This number represents a decrease of just over 850 active cases from this time last week. BC’s number of active cases had been dropping significantly for the last 7 weeks straight.

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 -36.1%! Not only is this the 8th week of sustained negative growth of new cases, but it’s also the latest new record for the lowest growth rate we’ve seen during the entire course of the pandemic.

It is also important to mention that this is now the 2 week point since the end of BC’s circuit breaker restrictions, so the next 2 weeks will be very important to watch for resurgences and exposure events. This is where will we begin to see the effects and benefits of our vaccination efforts put to the test.

Hospitalizations & Deaths

Currently, there are 199 people in BC hospitalized with COVID-19, and 63 of those are confined to the ICU. Non-critical hospitalizations are falling quite quickly now, and the ICU numbers are dropping almost as quickly! The last time our COVID-19 hospitalization numbers were this low was mid November 2020!

In the last 7 days, another 19 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 3,635,795 COVID-19 vaccinations in our province, with 314,246 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 19,184 second doses a day, which is roughly 5x higher than the previous 7-day average record!

As of today, 3,321,549 individuals have received at least 1 dose of vaccine, representing about 64.5% of BC’s total population. This also represents 71.5% of all BC residents 12 and over, and 73.9% of all adults in BC.

Roughly 4.9% 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 55,090. It looks like our vaccination numbers are starting to plateau around the ’52-55k per week’ point, but we may yet see this average go up again in June. This past week’s average represents a slight increase over the previous weekly average record of 52756, set 3 weeks prior.

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

There hasn’t been any major new news on the vaccine roll-out in the last 7 days. There have been confirmations that mixing vaccine types between first and second doses is ok, although may result in more intense side effects. There has also been some news that Canada is looking to the US for help improving our supply issues with Moderna doses.

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). It is looking increasingly like a determination may not be made on this vaccine, until it is too late for it to be a benefit in BC. But perhaps other provinces may find it helps with their vaccine roll-out.

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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