Home Health COVID-19 March 30: variants of concern are 38 percent of new cases

March 30: variants of concern are 38 percent of new cases

"Variants of concern are driving much of the current transmission" ~ Dr Bonnie Henry

Tuesday March 30, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC

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

Yesterday the hammer came down — still relatively gently — on British Columbians in an attempt to curtail high case counts along with increasing postivity percentages and increasing seven-day rolling case averages.

With Premier John Horgan taking the political lead, Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry retracted on indoor gatherings for faith-based groups, said no to indoor dining at restaurants (take out and delivery still ok), and put group fitness classes on hold.

Premier John Horgan
Premier John Horgan on March 29, 2021: “There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are not there yet.”

The circuit-breaker period of three weeks (from March 29 at midnight through April 19, 2021) also includes a stern request to stay home as much as possible, including a return to employers having people work at home like in the first wave of the pandemic in spring 2020.

Specifically, the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort has been closed by public health order. There was just too much transmission from uncontrolled social activity.

Read more about the political and public health joint announcement of March 29, here.

It’s quite amazing how quiet the news today that BC remains in an (extended) official State of Emergency, considering the potential restrictions that have been placed on all British Columbians since March 18, 2020 since the State of Emergency was first declared. It now officially runs through end of day April 13, 2021.

OakTree Naturals, banner ad, 2021
OakTree Naturals is centrally located on Goldstream Avenue in Langford.

BC COVID stats at March 30, 2021:

Total new cases over the last 24 hours is 840 (exactly the same as the daily average 839.3 cases seen over three days last weekend into Monday), with 7,062 cases presently active.

Now the highest number of people to date are self-isolating due to known exposure: 11,164 (up from 10,377 just yesterday).

Hospitalizations are up to 312 today (299 yesterday) with 78 people in ICU (down one from yesterday). Total hospitalizations to date stand at 5,183. As one doctor said on national TV this morning, being in ICU for this disease — no matter what your age — leaves a person with permanent health impacts.

COVID, BC, March 30 2021
COVID-19 dashboard for BC at March 30, 2021 with graph showing daily case counts pandemic-to-date. [BC CDC]

No doubt a result of the immunization efforts in BC, there were no deaths due to COVID reported today. The total remains at 1,455.

A total of 724,193 (with 25,101 doses administered in the past 24 hours), of which 87,319 have been second doses (that’s only 30 more since yesterday). That means about 16.8% of 4.3 million eligible adults in British Columbia have received a first dose (from any of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca products).

The COVID case positivity rate is high in BC at 9.8%, continuing its upward trend, rising steadily each day (was 6.4% just two weeks ago on March 16).

Adrian Dix, Health Minister
Health Minister Adrian Dix on March 29, 2021: “Give the vaccines a chance to do their greatest good.”

Vaccine supply as received in BC to date totals to 934,260 (Pfizer now 695,760, Moderna unchanged today at 170,500, and AstraZeneca also unchanged today at 68,000).

Variants of Concern:

Variants of Concern (VOC) are just that… continuing to generate valid concern for public health and everyone else. So far 2,553 cases in BC have been caused by VOC’s — that’s up by 320 since yesterday, and comprise 38% of total new cases today.

The VOC profile today is: 2,134 of B.1.1.7 (up by 219 since yesterday); 49 of B.1.351 (which is up only one since yesterday); and 370 of P.1 (a jump of 100 from yesterday).

Public health officials say that the VOC’s are more transmissible than the original COVID coronavirus and cause more serious illness. In other words, they act faster and hit harder.

Case counts head higher more quickly in urban areas, said Dr Henry yesterday, as the virus has an easier time transmitting in more dense populations. Social gatherings (other than one’s immediate household) are also a key breeding ground for the virus.

Dr Bonnie Henry, March 2021
Variants of concern are driving much of the current transmission, said Dr Bonnie Henry on March 29, 2021.

Vancouver Island COVID stats to March 30, 2021:

Total new cases in Island Health over the last day is 39 (daily average over last weekend was 47.3 cases), with 389 cases presently active.

Hospitalizations are at 13 in Island Health with one person in ICU. Total hospitalizations to date stand at 165 for Vancouver Island.

There was one more death over the weekend in Island Health (the first since March 8) but none reported today. Total now 29.

The COVID case positivity rate is high on Vancouver Island at 5.1%. That’s about half the BC rate, but has similarly been on a continuing upward trend, rising steadily (was 3.7% just two weeks ago on March 16).

To date, 222 children under the age of 10 years on Vancouver Island have tested positive for COVID-19; youth ages 10 to 19 have seen 388 cases in Island Health. There have been very few cases in people over age 70 in the last week or two, as vaccinations have ramped up.

A total of 113,852 vaccine doses have been administered in Island Health so far (up by 4258 in one day from the 109,594 total yesterday). Of that total, 10,148 have been second doses (that’s just 14 more since yesterday).

COVID, Island Health, March 30 2021
COVID-19 dashboard for Island Health at March 30, 2021 with graph showing daily case counts pandemic-to-date. [BC CDC]

Vaccine supply as received in Island Health to date totals to 153,050 (that’s up in one day by 13,540 from 139,510). The supply profile is: Pfizer 115,050 (up from 101,010 yesterday), Moderna 37,500 (no change), AstraZeneca down to 500 (previously reported as 1,000).

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Island Health, regions, COVID, March 30 2021
COVID-19 dashboard from the Island Health website on March 30, 2021.

===== LINKS (provided by BC Government):

For provincial health officer’s orders and guidance, visit:

Orders: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

Guidance on restrictions: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions

Latest vaccine information:

For vaccine information, visit the BCCDC dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
Or: www.bccdc.ca

Joint statement on first deployment of AstraZeneca vaccine in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/24001

The 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.

For data regarding ongoing outbreaks in long-term care, assisted-living and independent-living facilities in B.C., visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data#outbreak

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

To share your feedback in the Personal Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, visit: https://www.bcchr.ca/POP/our-research/pics

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:

BCCDC (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