Thursday April 8, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated at 7 pm with today’s vaccination registrations/bookings]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Sometimes good leadership is about simply stating the obvious: “This virus is spread by people, to the people we are closest to,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr Henry today in her COVID-19 media session. That includes in households, among families and in workplaces, she noted.
This comes on a day when she has introduced a new Public Health Order that will see WorkSafeBC inspectors now working under the Public Health Act, so their work is aligned with that of public health care workers.
Today she calmly reported a super-high number of new COVID-19 test-positive cases in BC, at 1,293 — that’s a one-day record. But it’s nothing to be lackadaisical about.
Health-care workers in acute care in hospitals are “very disheartened” to see the continued spread of COVID-19, said Dr Henry today, as they can see it’s coming from those who are breaking the public health protocol guidelines despite the known seriousness of variants of concern of the rapidly mutating COVID-19 virus.
Today Dr Henry said that all health-care workers are now treating all COVID patients as if they are infected with the variants, which generally cause more serious illness.
COVID infections are now being seen to include everyone in households, work facilities or shared accommodations, Dr Henry said today.
Public input through BC CDC survey:
Today Dr Henry seemed quite pleased at the participation in the province-wide survey last year about people’s experiences with COVID-19. Over 400,000 people contributed to the detailed questions last spring just as British Columbians were pulling out of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; BC COVID-19 SPEAK: Your story, Our future was launched in May 2020.
Now almost a year later and deep into the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC (with variants of concern now rampant in the case numbers), round two of the survey has been released. The BC COVID-19 SPEAK Round 2 Survey has been sent by email today with a link to participate, to those who participated in the 2020 survey. It’s also available online on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.
We’re over a year into the pandemic and once again we are asking you to tell us how you are doing. It’s been a tough year and everyone has been impacted in different ways. “With COVID-19 vaccinations underway, it is time to think about our recovery and how we can support you through this next phase.” The survey will address four key areas:
- Life during the pandemic: How your behaviours and experiences have changed over the course of the pandemic
- Vaccines: What barriers exist to accessing vaccines
- Innovation and adaptation: How have things changed around you and how have these changes impacted you?
- Recovery: What supports are needed to help you through our recovery from the pandemic?
Peak BC COVID case numbers:
Today April 8 the number of people self-isolating due to COVID exposure in BC sets yet another new record at 15,203 (up from yesterday’s peak 14,602 and the peak the day before that at 14,118).
Still over 101 people are in ICU today (101, just slightly below yesterday’s 105, and 96 the day before).
Variants of Concern are increasingly prevalent in BC’s COVID case profile, so much so that are cases are now assumed to be caused by variants, said Dr Henry today. In terms of active health-care of COVID patients, they all “need to be treated as if they have one of these highly transmissible variants”, she said today.
“No matter what mutation may be prevalent, following all of the public health orders and using all of our layers of protection — without exception — is the best thing we can do to keep ourselves and each other safe,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix & Dr Henry their COVID statement yesterday.
Success for the “Get Vaccinated” portal:
The Get Vaccinated online vaccine registration and booking system for B.C.’s age-based immunization program is open for everyone to register and then later book their vaccine appointment when eligible. As of noon today, there had been 487,726 registrations (up from over 305,000 yesterday), with 81,047 appointments booked. Then by 5 pm, there had been 541,895 registrations to book vaccine appointments since the new system was launched on April 6 (online registrations 471,828 and 70,067 by phone. Total booked appointments: 107,443.
- Registrations are now open to people over age 65, as of today.
- Appointments for vaccinations are currently open to people age 70 years of age and older, to Indigenous people age 18+, and to those who have received an official letter giving the status as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.
BC COVID stats at April 8:
Total cases in BC to date is 108,278, up by 1,293 cases today. There’s a peak number of active cases at 9,184; active cases have risen steady from 8,728 yesterday and 8,671 the day before. There were 997 new cases today (up from 1,068 new cases yesterday after the long weekend. On the four-day Easter weekend (April 1 through 4) there were record-breaking tallies of new cases. New cases profile:
- 1,018 – April 1 to 2
- 1,072 – April 2 to 3
- 999 – April 3 to 4
- 890 – April 4 to 5.
- 1,068 – April 5 to 6
- 997 – April 6 to 7
- 108,278 – April 7 to 8
Today there is yet another record-breaking number of people are isolating due to known exposure — now 15,203 (up from 14,602 yesterday and 14,118 the day before).
Here’s a west shore comparison: the number of people exposed to COVID and now self-isolating is about 82% the population of Colwood (presently about 18,617), or about one-third of the population of Langford (estimated at 45,000).
Another two deaths were reported today, bringing the total to 1,493 in BC, pandemic-to-date.
The positivity rate in BC is also at a new top level at 10.7% (steadily up from 10.4% yesterday and 10.2% the day before).
Pandemic to date (now over a year, to April 7), 5,142 children under the age of 10 have tested positive for COVID-19 (up by 64 since yesterday), as well as 10,603 youth and teens age 10 to 19 years (up by 85 since yesterday). That’s a total of 15,745 youth in our province who’ve now dealt with the COVID-19 infection firsthand.
Vaccine profile at April 8:
Today Health Minister Dix said that Pfizer is “the workhorse vaccine”. That’s mostly because supply is reliable but also in good quantity. And the public seems to trust it the most.
- SUPPLY in BC, to date 1,403,510 vaccine doses have been received through the federal procurement system. That’s comprised of 888,810 Pfizer, 265,800 AstraZeneca, and 248,900 Moderna.
- ADMINISTERED IN BC: Of those doses received in BC, so far 985,001 have been administered (of which 87,564 were second doses). Administration profile for BC: Pfizer – 760,052 (70,382 second doses) | Moderna 168,663 (17,182 second doses) | AstraZeneca 66,285 (no second doses).
And here on Vancouver Island:
- SUPPLY in Island Health: To date 219,350 doses have been received (via BC Health). That’s comprised of 161,850 Pfizer, 57,000 Moderna, and just 500 AstraZeneca (previously 1,000 but then 500 doses were shared by Island Health with the Lower Mainland health authorities at the end of March).
- ADMINISTERED in Island Health: To date 153,312 doses have been administered (10,158 second doses). That’s comprised as Pfizer 121,682 (8,311 second doses), Moderna 31,191 (1,847 second doses), and 439 AstraZeneca (no second doses).
Vancouver Island COVID stats at April 8:
Total cases in Island Health to date is 3,818 (up by 69 since yesterday) of which 566 are active (up from 545 yesterday but not as high as Tuesday’s 585).
Regionally, the lead in active cases previously seen in central Vancouver Island is now seen in the south Vancouver Island region, according to the Island Health COVID-19 dashboard on April 8: 271 south, 201 central, 32 north.
There are two more people in hospital in Island Health today with COVID-19 (up by two from yesterday, which was two more than Tuesday), with seven of those in ICU (up by one from yesterday, which was up by two since Tuesday). Hospitalizations in Island Health to date stand at 181.
In the past week there have been six new VOC’s confirmed in Island Health for a total of 20 cases on the island (as at April 7): 13 cases of B.1.1.7 (UK), 6 P.1 (Brazil) and 1 B.1.351 (South Africa). None are currently active.
No more deaths were reported today in Island Health, seeing the total at 31, pandemic-to-date.
The positivity rate is also at a new top level on Vancouver Island at 5.9% (it was 5.8% both yesterday and Tuesday).
As of April 7, now 248 children under the age of 10 have tested positive for COVID-19 in Island Health pandemic-to-date as well as 450 youth and teens age 10 to 19 years. The numbers rise steadily each day. Together the infection totals for youth is 698, or about the size of an entire middle school in the west shore.
Presently 10 schools are listed as having had COVID exposures in IslandHealth (two schools in SD62 in the west shore, and three in SD61 in Greater Victoria). Today April 8 two middle schools (Dunsmuir in SD62 and Cedar Hill in SD61) had their exposure status increased to cluster.