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COVID this week: BC daily case average 488, three deaths on Vancouver Island

"We are disappointed to hear today there will be a short-term delay in the delivery of some of the Pfizer vaccines." ~ Minister Dix & Dr Henry

Friday January 15, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC

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

We are deep in the second wave, with physical distancing and staying home being more important than ever as new viral strains emerge and few people vaccinated yet.

This week there were 2,440 new COVID-19 cases added to the BC total of 60,117 for pandemic-to-date, or 488 on average per day during January 11 to 15. That’s comprised of daily case counts (Monday to Friday): 430, 446, 519, 536 and 509.

There are presently 4,606 active cases in BC, with 182 of those in Island Health.

In hospital there are 349 people, of whom 68 are in intensive care. The other 4,257 people are self-isolating at home. As well, there are 7,132 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

Listed in the data as ‘recovered’ is a tally of 53,115 people. But we know now that many people continue to deal with health impacts from the infection. Some are called ‘long haulers’ if their health impairments persist.

Case counts vary among the regions of BC, with most cases seen in the lower mainland and increasingly this month in the Interior.

COVID, BC, January 15 2021
COVID-19 case dashboard for BC at January 15, 2021 [BC CDC]

Vancouver Island COVID age profile:

The age grouping of COVID cases in BC with the highest number of cases is 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years — including on Vancouver Island.

The age range of COVID-19 cases this week on Vancouver Island showed steady increases across most age groups except over age 80 where there’s been only one case in the last four days.

COVID, Vancouver Island, January 15 2021
COVID-19 case dashboard for Vancouver Island at January 15, 2021 [BC CDC]

Here are the number of cases in Island Health by age (with new cases over the past five days January 11 to 15 in brackets):

  • up to age 10: 71 (+11)
  • 10 to 19 years: 110 (+12)
  • 20s: 254 (+24)
  • 30s: 204 (+13)
  • 40s: 160 (+10)
  • 50s: 165 (+8)
  • 60s: 140 (+5) / data adjusted on January 15
  • 70s: 70 (+1)
  • 80s: 29 (+1)
  • 90+: 8 (+0)

Death by COVID:

There have been nine new COVID-19 related deaths reported today, for a total of 1,047 in British Columbia (15 now in Island Health … with five of those new this week).

Island Health, regions, COVID, January 15 2021
COVID cases in Island Health by region at January 15, 2021. [Island Health]

That’s over a thousand families in the province who are dealing with a special type of grief — not only the death of a loved one or friend but likely with searing memories of social restrictions around visitation which will lead to mental health impacts over the years ahead.

Immunization update:

To date, 75,914 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine in B.C. That would be the Pfizer-BioNTech product going primarily to residents and workers in long-term care and to frontline health care workers, and the Modern product going to rural, remote and Indigenous communities due to the less strident shipping and temperature requirements. Both products use the mRNA approach to activating the immune response in human recipients of the vaccine.

“As of today, thousands of people working and living in long-term care homes, health-care workers and those in remote or at-risk Indigenous communities have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” it was stated in today’s BC Health COVID update release.

Health Minister Adrian Dix, January 14 2021
Health Minister Adrian Dix during a press conference January 14, 2021 in Victoria.

Supplies of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are suddenly going to be less than promised/expected, as announced by the manufacturer and confirmed by the federal government today.

BC Health Minister Adrian Dix says this will slow down the original immunization program for January and February, but that ramping up for March is still the plan.

An immunization program roll out strategy will be announced next week by Minster Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry.

Meanwhile, new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19) virus continue to emerge (we’ve already seen the UK variant and South African variant in BC).

Not much has changed in everyday living:

“People throughout British Columbia are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” it was stated in a joint release from Minister Dix and Dr Henry today.

However, nothing ‘on the ground’ has changed for anyone so long as vaccination is not happening for the general population yet. The goal as stated by Dix and Dr Henry this week is to have just 10 per cent of the population vaccinated by the end of March.

Dr Bonnie Henry, January 14 2021
Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry during COVID media availability, January 14, 2021.

“We are disappointed to hear today there will be a short-term delay in the delivery of some of the Pfizer vaccines to British Columbia in the coming weeks as the company upgrades its production facility,” said Dix and Dr Henry.

“We are working closely with the federal government to determine how this might impact our immunization rollout in the immediate term, and we will have more to share in the coming days.”

“We must never forget how far we have come by working together. Over the past months, we have all made sacrifices for the health of our families and communities, and now more than ever we need to hold the line and stop transmission of COVID-19 as our vaccination program ramps up.”

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===== Links (provided by BC Health):

Mental health support:

Mental health and anxiety support: www.bouncebackbc.ca
Or: www.anxietycanada.com
Or: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/about-covid-19/mental-well-being-during-covid-19
Or: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/virtual-supports-covid-19

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.

Provincial health officer orders and guidance:

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:

BC Centre for Disease Control (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:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BCProvincialGovernment/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCGovNews
YouTube: www.youtube.com/ProvinceofBC