Friday December 31, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated January 1, 2022]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends
COVID numbers on Vancouver Island are pushing ever-higher thanks to the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
Finishing up the year now on December 31, 2021 there have been 17,834 identified cases of COVID-19 within Island Health since the start of the pandemic.
The pandemic has been grinding on for 22 months now. The pandemic was first declared in BC as a health emergency on March 17, 2020 with a State of Emergency brought in the next day March 18, 2020.
The vaccine rollout began mid-December 2020; a ramp-up with COVID booster shots will gain momentum next week in January 2022, as outlined today by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry.
Learning from the data:
Science and data about COVID impacts continues to evolve as the pandemic continues and the virus evolves. For example, now pregnant women are prioritized for a boost shot (as soon as six months have passed since their second dose).
Everyone over age 18 years who has had two doses can get a booster after a six-month interval from their second dose, as it’s become clear that a six-month interval is appropriate as immunity wanes.
Notifications will work like this: starting early next week about a third of the 800,000 eligible people will get a text message or email with an invitation to book an appointment. People who have waited the longest will be invited first.
The BC Get Vaccinated website has all the info about the COVID vaccines and how to register.
Case profile December 2021:
There are currently 2,336 active cases in Island Health (highest number pandemic to date), with 434 of those new today.
Other than what seems like an anomaly of 856 active cases listed yesterday, there were high levels of active numbers for the past week, due to the highly transmissible Omicron.
Here are the December 2021 COVID stats for Island Health (some fields still to be completed):
|Dec 2021||Active Cases||Total Cases||Hospitalizations [ICU]||Cases in Children Age 0-9 yr|
|2||602 (+34)||12,875 (+88)||45 ||1,346 (+10)|
|3||646 (+44)||12,971 (+96)||44 ||1,369 (+23)|
|6||624 (-22)||13,168 (+197)||37 ||1,429 (+60)|
|10||664||13,529 (+127)||34 ||1,471|
|13||764||13,836 (+307)||33 ||1,471 (?)|
|14||804 (+40)||13,959 (+123)||37 ||1,529 (+58)|
|15||856 (+52)||14,068 (+109)||39 ||1,541 (+12)|
|16||905 (+49)||14,205 (+137)||40 ||1,559 (+18)|
|17||975 (+70)||14,352 (+147)||42 ||1,574 (+15)|
|20||1,021 (+46)||14,767 (+415)||37 ||1,636 (+62)|
|21||1,116 (+95)||14,969 (+202)||40 ||1,653 (+17)|
|22||1,145 (+29)||15,144 (+175)||38 ||1,670 (+17)|
|Sat 25 Xmas||–||–||–||–|
|Mon 27 Stat||n/a||(+737)||n/a||n/a|
|30||856 (incorrect?)||17,400 (+460)||41 ||1,793 (+24)|
|31||2,336 (record)||17,834 (+434)||53 ||1,825 (+32)|
|MONTH||Peak Dec 31||+5,047||Peak Dec 31 [Dec 1, 21, 22]||+489|
Deaths this month:
There have been 21 deaths due to COVID in Island Health in this month of December. That’s 14.6 percent of the total 143 deaths in Island Health, pandemic-to-date.
Everyone will likely be exposed:
A few times in the past two weeks, Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry has said that everyone can expect to be exposed to the Omicron variant, as it spreads so easily. If you have cold-like symptoms, assume you have COVID, she said last week and this week.
Now the period of isolation is five days if you have symptoms or have a positive test, or 10 days if you’re unvaccinated. You still need to wear a mask for five days after the symptoms (fever) have subsided, said Dr Henry today.
If just assuming one has COVID (and not coming in for testing) will start impacting the integrity of the data (as to total cases). Note this sudden drop in Island Health active cases at December 30, even though the new-case counts are trending upward in Island Health and across the province:
Today BC Health issued a statement at 4:20 pm with current COVID numbers for December 31, 2021. Here is the BC-wide vaccination information at December 31:
- As of Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, 88.1% (4,392,141) of eligible people five and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 82.9% (4,133,438) have received their second dose.
- In addition, 92% (4,262,385) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, 89.2% (4,133,262) received their second dose and 19.6% (909,248) have received a third dose.
- Also, 92.3% (3,993,382) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose, 89.6% (3,877,423) received their second dose, and 21.0% (908,376) have received a third dose.
In Island Health, in the past year there have been 1,582,569 doses of COVID vaccine administered (680,364 of those were second doses). Most of the shots have been the mRNA types: Pfizer-BioNTech (961,939 doses) and Moderna (561,680 doses). The pediatric Pfizer vaccine has been administered 23,338 times in Island Health (21 of those are second doses). AstraZeneca (viral vector) doses in Island Health total 35,612 (with 11,681 of those as second doses).
The booster campaign will ramp up in the new year. The booster shot is a third shot, thought to be needed to help people maintain a reasonable level of immunity against COVID-19 (currently mostly the Omicron variant).
Everyone age 18+ who has reached their six-month interval (after their second dose) will receive an invitation. “Wait for it”, said Dr Henry, it’s coming.
Into the new year:
The next live-streamed update with Dr Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix is on Monday January 3, 2022.
Today December 31, 2021 was the last day on the job for Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr Richard Stanwick, who is retiring without fanfare. He announced his retirement last month.
Island Health Board Chair Leah Hollins on December 30, 2021 issued a statement called Island Health looks back, and looks ahead. “As we come to the end of 2021, we must acknowledge the extreme challenges the health-care system and its people have faced.”
Thanking health care workers:
===== Learn More (Government Links):
For the Dec. 21, 2021, announcement on additional COVID-19 measures, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021HLTH0234-002431
For the Dec. 21, 2021, PowerPoint presentation on COVID-19 updated measures, boosters and rapid antigen testing in B.C., visit:
For the Dec. 17, 2021, announcement on new COVID-19 measures, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021HLTH0230-002414
For the Dec. 14, 2021, modelling presentation, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/12.14.21_PHO_modelling.pdf
For the Nov. 23, 2021, announcement on COVID-19 pediatric vaccine for children aged 5-11, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021HLTH0209-002245
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for children: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/children
For the Oct. 26, 2021, announcement on COVID-19 booster shots for all British Columbians, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/25604
For information on booster doses, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/booster
For information on a third dose for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register#immunocompromised
As they become available, information on school outbreaks will be posted online: www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures
For surgical renewal commitment progress reports, visit:
To learn about how B.C. counts its daily COVID-19 cases in hospitals, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021HLTH0058-001844
To learn about the BC Vaccine Card and how to access yours, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.html
For the Aug. 12, 2021, announcement on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for long-term care
workers, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/25143
For information on breakthrough cases, see the BCCDC weekly data summary: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data#summary
Detailed data is posted daily on the BCCDC dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
To register to be immunized or to learn about getting your second dose, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register
For the provincial health officer’s orders and guidance, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
For guidance on restrictions, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions
The latest updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.
For COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information, visit:
* Fraser Health: fraserhealth.ca/covid19exposure
* Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/public-exposures/
* Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures
* Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures