Monday February 22, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends
British Columbians have learned to live with the COVID-19 pandemic. Which doesn’t make it easy.
But after a year it’s just human nature for things to become routine as a way to cope with the stress of it. The pandemic was officially declared in BC on March 17, 2020 but the news of the looming new coronavirus began in January last year in Canada.
The COVID-19 case count data was ‘standard fare’ today. New cases in the mid-400s to just over 500, which now seems like an epidemiological curve under control but it’s still a staggering number of new infections. Active cases number around 4,500 with over 7,700 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. And there another eight deaths over the past weekend.
Data summary at Monday February 22, 2021:
- New cases in the last 3 days (Feb 19-20, Feb 20-21, Feb 21-22): 1,428 (504, 475, 449) | Regional distribution: Fraser Health (805), Vancouver Coastal (358), Island Health (99), Northern Health (99), Interior Health (67), and no new cases in people who reside outside of Canada.
- Total cases in BC: 77,263
- Active cases: 4,560
- People under active public health surveillance: 7,768
- Number of people recovered: 71,313
- Hospitalizations: 223 current (66 in ICU); total 4,237 to date
- Positivity: 6.6
- Deaths: 8 new (total 1,335 in BC pandemic to date)
Viral spread continues to happen in the usual close-contact situations, notably health-care facilities (two hospitals — Vancouver General and Kelowna General) and industrial workplaces (now at Grand River Foods).
Variants of Concern — three types now in BC:
New COVID cases as a result of the variants of concern (B.1.1.7/UK, B.1.31/South Africa, and B.1.525/Nigeria) are becoming consistent in BC.
In total there have been 101 cases of variant infection confirmed in BC (28 new over the last three days), of which 81 were B.1.1.7, 20 were B.1.31, and two were B.1.525 (which are under investigation it was stated in a news release today). Of these confirmed cases, 58 are in Fraser Health, 38 in Vancouver Coastal, four in Island Health, and three in Interior Health.
These variants transmit more easily, allowing “less room for error” (as articulated by Dr Reka Gustafson on Friday) in following the public health protocols of physical distancing, wearing a mask in any indoor public spaces, and staying home if not feeling well.
The layers of protection also include keeping to one’s own household-only, and avoiding travel unless it is absolutely necessary, as stated in the BC Health joint news release today with the Provincial Health Officer.
In a major departure from how the pandemic began in winter/spring of 2020 (when public health in BC emphasized seniors and elders being most susceptible and children thought not to be carriers), today’s statement by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry is this: “We are all susceptible to contracting the virus and passing it on to others, so each day that we recommit to taking the necessary precautions helps to protect us and gets us closer to where we want to be.”
To date, 218,726 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in BC. Of those, 55,057 have been second doses (44,584 Pfizer and 10,473 Moderna — both of those are the mRNA type which has a high efficacy rate).
Total supply of vaccines received in BC via the federal government to date is 243,490 doses (179,790 Pfizer and 63,700 Moderna).
Immunization data is available on the COVID-19 dashboard at www.bccdc.ca
Vancouver Island profile at February 22, 2021:
- New cases today 27
- Total cases: 2,167
- Active cases: 228
- Number of people recovered: 1,915
- Hospitalizations: 16 current (6 in ICU); total 125 to date
- Positivity: 3.2
- Deaths: total 24 in Island Health, pandemic to date)