Friday May 7, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Today Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry led a different sort of news teleconference with media. It was strictly about COVID data reporting, not about COVID statistics, held jointly with Deputy Public Health Officer Dr Réka Gustafson.
But the usual written COVID-19 joint report from Dr Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix was issued as usual later in the afternoon.
However, earlier today Dr Henry did say on the broader scope that “no area of the province has been spared except maybe here on Vancouver Island”, as to the impact of COVID-19. Let’s look at the statistics as of today May 7 in this second year of the pandemic.
Vancouver Island COVID statistics:
Throughout the pandemic, Vancouver Island has experienced a less acute impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 4,804 total COVID cases to date are 3.6% of the BC provincial total. | See current BC CDC COVID dashboard
There are presently 235 (down five from yesterday) active cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, with 20 of those new today.
Presently 15 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19 (five of those in ICU). There have been 230 hospitalizations in Island Health to date.
There have been 38 deaths on Vancouver Island due to COVID-19. The most recently was announced earlier this week, on Monday May 3.
Vaccinations to date:
So far, 329,983 doses of COVID vaccine have been administered by Island Health, which is up by 8,558 in just the last 24 hours. Of the doses administered, 12,408 have been second doses.
Of those, the majority were mRNA-type vaccinations (243,904 Pfizer and 68,073 Moderna); the viral vector type AstraZeneca vaccine product has been administered to 18,006 people so far on Vancouver Island (up by just three since yesterday).
COVID in schools:
Schools have remained open in BC during the pandemic (except for during the first wave in mid-March to mid-May in 2020). Dr Henry continues to insist — with some measure of evidence — that schools are safer for children than being in the general community.
Presently eight schools on Vancouver Island are listed as having COVID exposures, with three of those in the west shore (SD62): Dunsmuir Middle, Ruth King Elementary and View Royal Elementary.
To date, 345 children under the age of 10 have tested positive for COVID-19 on Vancouver Island (compared to 7,283 throughout BC), while 564 in the 10 to 19 age cohort have tested positive (14,002 throughout BC).
Clinics & pharmacies:
The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all adults in BC. Registration to open to all eligible British Columbians (adults age 18+ and others). Presently in the age-based program people in their mid-40s are getting booked appointments. | Register to get vaccinated (government link)
The government-run clinics administer primarily the Pfizer and Moderna products. Pharmacies are generally carrying the AstraZeneca product.
Vaccination progress in BC:
To date, 45% of those who are eligible (i.e. adults age 18+) have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine. “For everyone who has received their vaccine, we thank you for doing your part. For those who will soon be eligible, we encourage you to join this vaccine effort when it is your turn,” said Dr Henry and Health Minister Dix in their joint statement this afternoon.
As of today, anyone age 49 and older can book their vaccine. The age-based eligibility will continue to decrease in the coming days. “We are also expanding our worker program to many more workplaces, reducing the potential for outbreaks and clusters with front-line workers,” said Dr Henry today, specifying that grocery store and food service workers will be prioritized for vaccines next week in the Lower Mainland, and after that across BC.