Home Health COVID-19 BC & Vancouver Island COVID profile heading in Fall 2021

BC & Vancouver Island COVID profile heading in Fall 2021

Saturday September 25, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends

British Columbia is already deep in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the fall-winter respiratory season fast approaching (including the impact of influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, etc)), the complexities — if not the numbers — will very likely provide even further challenges to individuals, families, schools, businesses and community.

Government will need to continue to be adaptive — as it claims to have been all along, but also to be even more creative (in achieving vaccination goals) and transparent (with data that is publicly consumable), as the pandemic grinds now toward a full two years.

adrian dix
Health Minister Adrian Dix during weekly COVID press conference, Sept 21, 2021.

Long pandemic:

The SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged in December 2019 in China, and in Canada was first identified as a cause of illness and death in February 2020. In BC the COVID-19 pandemic was officially declared on March 17, 2020. Premier John Horgan (proud of his Irish heritage and choosing March 17 St Patrick’s Day as also the day to announce other things during his political career) no doubt hoped a dash of good luck might be in order.

Starting in January 2020 the media sessions about COVID as delivered by BC Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry began. By March they were coming daily. Earlier this year that subsided to about twice weekly, and this past summer of 2021 they were delivered ‘as required’. Now in September 2021 the media sessions are regular again, on a weekly basis, on Tuesdays.

But my, how far we have come. Compared to the onset of the pandemic with no vaccines available (let alone barely imaginable) COVID vaccine supply in Canada and BC is now glutted, with a stubborn sector of society either slow or fully refusing to be vaccinated against the virus. The attention of public has turned to ‘the pandemic of the unvaccinated’, as people not fully vaccinated now represent 75% of all cases (Sept 16-22) and 81.5% of hospitalizations are for people not fully vaccinated (Sept 9-22). [Note: ‘not fully vaccinated’ can mean either no shots at all, or just one shot; full vaccination is considered achieved by having two doses.]

island health, vax van
The Island Health team with their Vax Van at Starlight Stadium in Langford, July 30, 2021. [Island Social Trends – Mary P Brooke]

Children have returned to school this fall without yet being vaccinated. Only last week was the Pfizer vaccine declared safe by the manufacturer for children age 5 to 11 years of age. Teachers currently find themselves in the line of fire for exposure to viral spread from children.

The government is also dealing with resistance to vaccine in some ‘pockets’ of the population, but are otherwise trying various ways and means to reach people including pop-up clinics (like the ones held weekly, on three Wednesdays in a row, at Royal Roads University on Vancouver Island this month) and mobile clinics (like the Island Health VaxVan that has visited at shopping malls and sports events).

Vaccine Card:

Starting Monday September 27, 2021, the BC Vaccine Card will be the only acceptable proof of vaccination for British Columbians to enjoy certain businesses and recreational events safely.

The transition period, which allowed people to present their paper record of immunization received at the time of their vaccination appointment, will end tomorrow (September 26).

proof of vaccination
By Public Health Officer order, proof of vaccination will be required to access some events, services and businesses. Starting September 13, you must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; use of the card becomes mandatory on September 27, 2021. By October 24, 2021 you must be fully vaccinated.

The BC Vaccine Card requirement is applied in certain discretionary settings, including most restaurants and indoor events, through provincial health officer orders. This requirement helps ensure that businesses can stay open and people can feel safe in these settings, while continuing to increase vaccinations throughout the province.

More than 3.1 million British Columbians have already received their BC Vaccine Card, said Minister Dix yesterday.

Dr Bonnie Henry, August 31 2021
Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry urged vaccination ahead of back to school, August 31, 2021 in Victoria. [livestream]

COVID totals, pandemic to date:

As of September 24, 2021 in BC there have been 182,541 test-positive cases (of which 8,163 were in Island Health) pandemic to date. It should be noted that many people may have contracted the viral infection caused by COVID-19 but were not ill enough to seek medical treatment or were in fact fully asymptomatic.

Of the test-positive cases, 174,281 people across BC have recovered (95.47%); in Island Health 7,368 have recovered (90.26%).

There have been 1,922 deaths attributed to COVID in BC (60 of those in Island Health). The death tally attributed to COVID does not include deaths from other illnesses that have occurred as a result of not being able to have required surgical procedures.

Active COVID totals at September 24, 2021:

Currently there are 5,979 active cases in BC (of which 660 are on Vancouver Island).

COVID, bc, Sept 24 2021
COVID data profile for BC at Sept 24, 2021 [BC CDC]

Presently 319 people are hospitalized due to COVID (33 in Island Health), with 149 of those most seriously ill in ICU (21 in Island Health). To date, the pandemic has landed 9,670 people in hospital (367 in Island Health).

The priority of attention being on COVID, otherwise scheduled surgeries are now in danger of being rescheduled, or in fact have been rescheduled or are fully without a date.

COVID case profile this past week:

This past week (Monday September 20 to Friday September 24) there were 4,175 new cases in BC (283 of those in Island Health). Another 144 people were hospitalized in BC with active COVID infections (21 in Island Health). Across BC there were 23 more deaths this week (two in Island Health).

COVID-19 DATA (BC CDC)BC (at week’s end; change during Sept 20-24)Island Health (at week’s end; change during Sept 20-24)
Total cases (pandemic to date)182,541 (+ 4,175)8,163 (+ 283)
Active cases (pandemic to date)5,979 (+ 364)660 (- 15); peak was on Mon at 675
Total Hospitalizations (pandemic to date)9,670 (+ 144)367 (+ 21)
Current Hospitalizations319 (+ 12); peaked on Tues at 33233 (+ 5)
Current ICU149 (- 7); peaked at 157 on Wed21 (+ 5)
Total Deaths (pandemic to date)1,922 (+ 23)60 (+ 2)
COVID, island health
COVID data profile for Island Health at Sept 24, 2021 [BC CDC]


The province has achieved full vaccination in 80.0% of British Columbians (age 12 years+), with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered this year;at least 87.5% have received at least one dose.

As of September 24, across BC 7,771,314 doses of vaccines have been administered, of which 3,711,747 have been second doses. Those totals are for all three types of vaccines (as approved by Health Canada) that BC is using in its COVID-19 immunization program, i.e. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna (which are the mRNA type), and AstraZeneca (viral vector type).

john horgan, vaccination
Premier John Horgan got his second COVID vaccination shot on June 18, 2021, choosing AstraZeneca for the second time. [BC Government photo]

As of September 24, in Island Health 1,294,681 doses of vaccines have been administered, of which 621,915 have been second doses (all three types of vaccines).

The Pfizer vaccine has been administered the most in BC (70.3% across BC | 70.5% in Island Health); the Moderna vaccine has been administered second-most often (24.6% across BC | 26.9% in Island Health); and AstraZeneca the least (5.1% across BC | 2.6% in Island Health).

The BC Centre for Disease Control data shows (for the period September 16-22) that COVID hospitalization occured most often among people not vaccinated (292.8 per 100,000 population), with partially vaccinated more protected (90.8 admissions per 100,000 population), and fully vaccinated people among the least hospitalizations (28.3 per 100,000).

BC Health says that “after factoring for age” people not vaccinated are 25.9 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated.

dr henry
Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry announced that COVID notifications would again be issued from schools regarding new known cases in the school, Sept 21, 2021.

School scenario:

This past week, Dr Henry said that school notifications would go out as promptly as possible to parents, after a case of COVID is identified in a school.

This is after (in the summer) saying that she felt it would reduce parent anxiety to not receive such notifications — sort of a ‘less they know, the less they will worry’ approach. That approach was rejected by parents across the province, and notifications have now been reinstated (apparently as of the end of this past week).

john horgan, constitutency, langford JDF, banner

===== VACCINE CARD LINKS (provided by government):

To learn more about the vaccine card and how to access yours, visit: gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/proof#required)

Information for businesses, including step-by-step instructions, can be found at: gov.bc.ca/ (http://www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard-businesses)vaccinecard (http://www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard-businesses)-businesses (http://www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard-businesses)

the health initiative, ad

===== OTHER COVID LINKS (BC Government):

How B.C. counts daily COVID-19 cases in hospitals: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021HLTH0058-001844

BC Vaccine Card and how to access yours: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.html

Health measures in the Northern Health regiont: https://stories.northernhealth.ca/news/new-health-measures-introduced-northern-health-region

Aug. 31, 2021 modelling presentation: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/8-31_PHO_modelling.pdf

For the provincial health officer’s order on masks in public indoor settings, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/25217

For the Aug. 12, 2021, announcement on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for long-term care workers, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/25143

For health measures in the Central Okanagan, visit: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/AboutUs/MediaCentre/NewsReleases/Documents/IB_COVID_Outbreak_6%20August.pdf

For information on breakthrough cases, see the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (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
Or: www.bccdc.ca

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 or https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/dose-2

To learn about BC’s Restart plan, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restart

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:

* BCCDC: 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/data-outbreaks-facilities

* Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/outbreaks-and-exposures

* Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/public-exposures

oaktree naturals
Centrally located in Langford on Goldstream Avenue.