Saturday April 3, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated 9:30 pm and 11:25 pm on April 3 re school exposures; and April 4 at 8:51 pm; and 7:11 pm April 5 – all re school exposures]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Today the highest case counts of COVID-19 yet in BC were announced, on this Saturday of the Easter long weekend.
For a two-day reporting period (from mid-day Thursday April 1 and Good Friday into today Saturday April 3), the total of cases was 2,090: April 1 to 2, we had 1,018 cases, and in the last 24-hours a further 1,072 cases.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health issued their usual joint statement on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia today at 3:57 pm.
This brings to the total of COVID cases in BC to 102,970 pandemic-to-date. The pandemic was first declared last year on March 17, 2020 with some cases detected earlier than that.
“Please note that some data are not available over the long weekend, including data on variants and hospitalizations,” it was stated in the joint release today.
Meanwhile, there are 90 British Columbians are in intensive care, it was stated in the release today, with the remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Going back over the usual 14-day incubation period for the COVID virus, this means that the exposures for the high numbers of cases now started around March 20. That was the beginning of spring break from public schools around BC and also was a period of continued socializing during non-recommended travel and at parties and other close contact at some resorts.
The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort was closed last week on Dr Bonnie Henry’s orders. She said during a media session that infections traced back to Whistler ended up evolving into test-positive cases beyond the Lower Mainland, including Vancouver Island.
Perhaps Dr Henry could see this coming. Ahead of the return to school following spring break, she mandated the use of face masks in schools at all times by children in Grades 4 to 12 (instead of just in common areas).
Since the April 1 report of cases by the BC CDC, there have been 709 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,052 new cases in Fraser Health, 147 in Island Health , 149 in the Interior Health region, 33 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
The 147 count over two days in Island Health means a daily average count of about 73, which is very high for Vancouver Island. By comparison — even in this more robust phase of the last two weeks — the daily case count last week in Island Health was between 39 and 53 over four days (March 29 to April 1). From March 1 to March 15 the average daily case count rolled in at numbers between seven and 41. From March 16 to 28 the average daily case count shifted higher to a range of 12 to 45.
There is one outbreak on Vancouver Island in assisted-living, long-term care homes, seniors’ rental buildings, and that’s at Long Lake Chateau in Nanaimo.
School exposures – south Vancouver Island:
There has been a COVID exposure in SD62 at Dunsmuir Middle School in Colwood (exposure dates March 29-31, and April 1 added as an exposure date on April 5), posted as a COVID-19 Notification by the SD62 school district on their website. Phone calls or letters will be sent to staff and students that Island Health has identified as needing to self-isolate for 14 days from when they were exposed.
That’s the COVID-19 fourth exposure event for SD62 (the previous ones — now over — were at Royal Bay Secondary, Lakewood Elementary and David Cameron Elementary).
There is also a new COVID exposure in SD61 at Oak Bay High School (exposure date March 30).
A further exposure at Cedar Hill Middle School in SD61 was made known this evening April 3. In addition to a March 29 exposure, now there are also March 30, 31, and April 1 as potential exposure dates (as announced by SD61 this evening around 9 pm).
And around 11:20 pm this evening a potential exposure at Oaklands Elementary (March 29 to 31) has been posted by SD61 on Twitter.
Two more school exposures posted by Island Health on Easter Sunday April 4 are:
- SD62 – Belmont Secondary School (exposure April 1)
- SD61 – Oaklands Elementary School (exposure March 29-31)
School exposures are posted by Island Health on their website.
Vaccine distribution, appointments online:
“To date, 856,801 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,455 of which are second doses.
“We are working hard to deliver an easy-to-use provincial booking system for all British Columbians and know everyone is eager to book their appointment, beginning next week.
“Right now, vaccine bookings for people 72 and older, Indigenous peoples 18 and over, and individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable continue throughout the long weekend. The AstraZeneca/COVISHEILD vaccine is also available to people between the ages of 55 and 65 on the Lower Mainland – B.C.’s highest transmission area.”
Last week the use of AstraZeneca was put on pause in BC for anyone under the age of 55, based on recommendation of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are being used for people over 65. The supply of AstraZeneca that BC does have is being used for the 55 to 65 year age group.
Pharmacies helping out:
“In partnership with the BC Pharmacy Association, we plan to expand the AstraZeneca vaccine program outside of the Lower Mainland by the end of next week to more communities throughout the province, including Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Parksville, Prince George, Quesnel, Terrace, Vernon and Victoria,” it was stated in today’s release.
That will likely be mostly if not in all cases the AstraZeneca vaccine, as it only requires normal refrigeration temperatures for shipping and storage.
Dr Henry and Minister Dix both noted last week that the number of people in the younger age cohorts gets larger as the age gets lower. That means more volumes of immunizations to be done at once.
“An important reminder for everyone is that we should not be travelling outside our community or health authority for vacation or recreation right now. Consider day trips only or staying overnight in a local campground or hotel. We have seen too many cases of people travelling outside their health authority region and not using their layers of protection, leading to outbreaks and clusters in their home community.”
“These outbreaks are avoidable, and right now we must stay within our local region – for the safety of your community and for others.”
===== LINKS (provided by BC Government):
For provincial health officer’s orders and guidance, visit:
Latest vaccine information:
For vaccine information, visit the BCCDC dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
Joint statement on first deployment of AstraZeneca vaccine in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24001
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
To share your feedback in the Personal Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, visit: https://www.bcchr.ca/POP/our-research/pics
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: