Monday April 5, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Over the four days of the Easter long weekend, there were 4,040 new cases of COVID-19 in BC. In that number are two recording-breaking days (1,074 cases from April 1 to 2, and 1,077 cases from April 2 to 3)*, along with 999 cases from April 3 to 4 and 890 cases from April 4 to 5). That’s a daily average of 1,010 cases. [* = the tallies from April 1 to 3 have been data-adjusted in today’s BC Health report]
There have now been 104,061 COVID cases in BC, pandemic to date, or on average 271 per day for the past 384 days. It’s almost strange how the pandemic has almost become ‘the new normal’, as COVID infection numbers and deaths roll out almost daily and have seeped into lives on multiple levels.
Among these high case volumes is a high incidence of infections due to the variants of concern (VOC). Since April 1, there have been 916 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in BC, for a total of 3,559 cases (588 are active):
- 2,771 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant;
- 51 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant;
- 737 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant.
All of the VOCs are considered by medical experts to be more transmissible and cause more serious illness.
Stick to what works:
“We know this virus is constantly changing and some of the new variants can spread more easily,” it was stated in the joint release from Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and BC Health Minister Adrian Dix today.
“But the same measures we know can still stop the spread and we have safe and effective vaccines on our side now,” it was stated, though Dr Henry has frequently said that there’s less margin for error. Don’t take chances with that one time without a mask or talking too closely to someone (even with a mask).
“It is more important than ever to stay on track with our vaccination programs, continue to use all our layers of protection all the time and follow the provincial health orders and guidelines,” was the reminder issued today.
Active cases & exposures:
“There are 8,490 active cases of COVID-19 in BC as of today April 5, with 11,989 people under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A further 94,806 people who tested positive have recovered.
Currently 318 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, of whom 96 are in intensive care. Intensive care is damaging to the human body (even if the person survives) and is quite costly to the health care system.
Regional case profile:
As usual, the majority of COVID cases are in the lower mainland, Their new cases in the last two days were 579 in Vancouver Coastal Health and 986 in Fraser Health.
Here on Vancouver Island, there were 100 new cases in the last two days in Island Health. Together with 147 of the previous two days, that means 247 cases over the four days of this Easter weekend — producing the highest daily average of 62 for this region.
There were new potential exposures at schools announced over the Easter long weekend, including Dunsmuir Middle School and Belmont Secondary School in SD62 (Colwood & Langford locations) as well as Oaklands Elementary, Cedar Hill Middle School and Oak Bay High School in SD61.
School exposure updates in Island Health are posted on the Island Health website.
Deaths over Easter weekend:
There have been 23 new COVID-19 related deaths since April 1, for a total of 1,486 deaths in British Columbia. So far, the health authority locations for those new deaths have not been released (there was no live media session today, just a written report).
To date, 893,590 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C. (20.7% of the 4.3 million adult population), of which 87,472 of which are second doses. The percentage of adults vaccinated per day has been going up by one one percent per day over the last few weeks). It’s steady progress.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is being made available to people ages 55 to 65 in BC, including through various pharmacies.
Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA type vaccines, while AstraZeneca is the viral vector type. All three of those are thought to require a second (booster) dose in addition to the first (primer) dose. In BC, the current interval between doses is aiming for 16 weeks (approximately four months).
Vaccination appointments can be booked online:
As of 8 a.m. tomorrow, all people 71 years and older, Indigenous peoples 18 and older, and those who have received their ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ (CEV) letter in the mail may book their vaccine appointment online, by telephone through B.C.’s new provincial call-in centre or in-person at a Service BC location.
There are at least 170 immunization centres set up around BC, many of them in large spaces such as community centres, arenas and convention centres.
How to get vaccinated in BC (BC Health online registration portal): April 5, 2021
About Vaccination and Immunization (BC Health)
Island Health – how to book a vaccination appointment (Island Health)