Thursday April 15, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated 6:45 pm]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Today was another big day of COVID news in BC. Another detailed COVID modelling presentation was delivered by livestream to the public at 2 pm.
We might still write the occasional longer article and analysis pieces as the need arises. But starting today Island Social Trends will present our readers with a summary of the key points and most important quotes from Dr Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a quick format.
COVID in BC (and Vancouver Island), for today April 15, 2021:
Quotes and main points from Dr Bonnie Henry:
- Stating the obvious and really hoping people will comply: “Travelling is what spreads the virus” said Dr Henry in her livestreamed session, after also articulating that Variants of Concern (e.g. B.1.1.7 and P.1) are up to 60% of new COVID cases every day.
- “If someone is sick in your household, get tested. There is a much lower threshold of not sending children to school,” said Dr Henry today in her COVID media session. Big news: teachers/staff around BC will be vaccinated, starting with Surrey (where there are ongoing high rates of transmission).
- In BC the two main COVID variants of concern (VOC) are B.1.1.7 and P.1, and they have high transmissibility. And they show up with difference predominance depending on region. The P.1 variant (Brazil) shows up more in Vancouver Coastal Health, said Dr Henry today, adding that the B.1.1.7 (UK) variant has higher case numbers in Surrey.
- There is a “large and steep” curve of COVID rates among “younger people” (which Dr Henry today defined in two larger clusters as 19 to 38 years and 40 to 59 years of age). She says the increase in infections is “from social and work connections, social networks”.
- More “younger people” have been hospitalized since the middle-to-end of March. “More people age 40 to 59 ended up in hospital,” said Dr Henry. “Some people in the 20 to 39 age group need hospitals – some, but not at a high rate,” she said.
- “Once COVID gets into a home, it was two to three people who got infected. Now with the variants of concern it can be widespread in the household, with parents in their 40s and 50s in hospital.”
- A weekly report on Variants of Concern in BC will be posted on the BC CDC website every Wednesday morning. Well, it’s Thursday and the report has been updated today to show a total of 5,230 cases, with this breakdown:
B.1.1.7 (UK) – 3,633
B.1.351 (South Africa) – 65
P.1 (Brazil) – 1,532
- For Island Health, the Variant of Concern breakdown at April 15 is 19 cases of B.117, two cases of B.220.127.116.11, and 11 cases of P.1 , for a total of 32.
- Higher case counts among school kids after spring break. “Schools are a relatively low transmission environment.” Transmission within schools continues to be limited (about one to two cases). About 75% of BC schools have not had exposures.
- “The transmissions that worked in November (2020) are still in place. We need to pay attention again (to what works)”. “The rate of infectious contact is 55% to 60%. That’s too high. We know what we need to do (to get to) 40% or less.” (i.e. follow all the public health protocols of physical distancing, wearing a mask, socializing with household only, outdoors is safer than indoors, washing your hands frequently, staying home if feeling unwell, and get tested).
- Anyone age 55 or older can register for their COVID vaccination. | BC Immunization Plan | Get Vaccinated
Quotes and main points from Health Minister Adrian Dix:
- Yesterday was a record day for COVID immunization in BC and a record day for immunizations delivered at pharmacies.
- The overall hospital occupancy rate is presently 92.4%. There are 714 vacant base beds. For critical care, the occupancy is 80.5%, with 105 vacant base beds. “The challenge is not equipment, but additional pressures on staff.”
- “We are not yet close toward community immunity,” said Health Minister Dix, but “we are going steadily in the right direction”. [It’s generally thought in public health that immunization of 70% of the full population is required to achieve community immunity, aka herd immunity]
- Dix said that 26.7% of eligible adults in BC (that’s of 4.3 million people) have received their first COVID vaccine injection.
- “Leaders in the community can support each other to get people out to the immunization clinics.”
Today’s COVID stats – BC: (source BC Centre for Disease Control)
- Today the total of test-positive cases of COVID-19 in BC is 116,075 of which 10,052 are active (that’s a high number for BC); that includes 1,205 new cases today.
- Hospitalizations are also now quite high at 409 with an equally concerning number of people — 125 — in critical care.
- Yesterday saw the record tally for people isolating due to known COVID exposure (16,304) and today’s number is still pretty close (16,217).
- There were three more COVID deaths reported today, bringing the total to 1,524 in BC.
- A total of 1,235,863 vaccine doses have been administered in BC so far (Pfizer 902,766, Moderna 218,926, and 114,171 AstraZeneca). Of the 1,235,863 doses administered, 87,899 have been second doses. The total supply vaccine received in BC through federal government procurement has been 1,590,470 to date.
- Among children under age 10 there have been 5,750 cases in BC, and 11,749 cases in youth ages 10 to 19.
Today’s COVID stats – Vancouver Island: (source BC Centre for Disease Control)
- Today the total of test-positive cases of COVID-19 in Island Health is 4,184 of which 528 are active; that includes 38 new cases today.
- Hospitalizations are also now at 20 with four people in critical care.
- There have been 33 deaths due to COVID in Island Health during the pandemic (the last two were reported on April 12, 2021).
- A total of 193,179 vaccine doses have been administered in Island Health so far (Pfizer 144,088, Moderna 41,811, and 7,280 AstraZeneca). Of the 193,179 doses administered, 10,160 have been second doses. The total supply vaccine received in Island Health (via BC through federal government procurement) has been 246,930 to date.
- Among children under age 10 there have been 279 cases in Island Health, and 513 cases in youth ages 10 to 19.
===== LINKS (provided by BC Government):
For the April 15, 2021, modelling presentation, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/modelling-projections
SPEAK Survey – to share your perspectives and feedback on the SPEAK survey, visit: www.bccdc.ca/covid19survey
For provincial health officer’s orders and guidance, visit:
Latest vaccine information:
For vaccine information, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
The latest updates, guidance and information on COVID-19, and where to get tested:
The latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/
Or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.
For data regarding ongoing outbreaks in long-term care, assisted-living and independent-living facilities in B.C., visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data#outbreak
Mental health support:
Mental health and anxiety support: www.bouncebackbc.ca
Non-health related information:
Financial, child care and education support, travel, transportation and essential service information: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
Or call 1 888 COVID19 (1 888 268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.
COVID-19 exposure events, updates and information by health authority:
BCCDC (flights, work sites, etc): http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/public-exposures
Fraser Health: fraserhealth.ca/covid19exposure
Interior Health: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/public-exposures/
Island Health: https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/covid-19/outbreaks-and-exposures
Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures
Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures
For the latest videos and livestreaming of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit: