Wednesday March 31, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC [Updated at 8:35 pm]
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Today a new daily record for new COVID-19 cases was set in BC at 1,014 (previously reported by BC Health as 1,103), of which 47 are in Island Health. That brings the pandemic-to-date case total to 100,048 in this second year of the pandemic.
Currently there are 7,405 active cases in BC (404 in Island Health). And now 11,468 people are under public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases (that’s a record).
There are 301 people in hospital of who 80 are in intensive care. There is a new COVID outbreak at Vernon Hospital in the BC Interior.
The positivity rate (percentage of active cases found in test samples each day) in BC is at 9.9%, the highest ever — it has been creeping up day by day for weeks; in Island Health it’s at 5.3% (also it’s highest point yet).
There have been 4,759 children under the age of 10 with COVID test-positive cases in BC, and 9,871 youth ages 10 to 19.
There were three more COVID deaths reported today (after none yesterday).
There were no case numbers for Variants of Concern issued today by BC Health, as the there was a delay in sequencing analysis, according to a news release from the ministry at 4:30 pm.
To date 756,080 vaccine doses have been administered in BC (up by 31,887 from yesterday. On Vancouver Island another 3,588 doses were administered in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of vaccinations in Island Health to 117,440.
“We all have the same ability to spread the COVID-19 virus no matter our age,” it was stated in the joint release from Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry today. But they continue with justification for their age-based immunization program: “We also know that regardless of where we work or what pre-existing health conditions we may have, the older we are, the higher our risk of severe illness.”
Immunization program update:
Indigenous people age 18 and over, and individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) and have received a letter identifying them as such, can also book their appointments.
“Front line workers who were to receive AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD remain a priority,” it was stated by BC Health today. “Right now we are waiting on Health Canada’s recommendations to determine what adjustments we may need to make to this immunization stream as a result of the safety signal for those under 55,” it was stated today in the joint statement. A few days ago, AstraZeneca was pulled from use for people under 55 due to reports of some serious blood clotting incidences in Europe (none in Canada to date), mostly in young adult women.
“There are three important things to remember about the COVID-19 vaccines: everyone will have access to a safe and effective vaccine and that remains on track to happen by Canada Day (i.e. the end of June).” As well, BC Health says that the more people who receive a vaccine, the safer we all are. “Which is why we are working around the clock to get vaccines in to arms as quickly as possible.”
Heading into Easter long weekend:
Tomorrow as we go into the Easter weekend, expanded visitation in all long-term care facilities throughout BC will get underway.
“If you are planning to visit your family member or friend, please remember that COVID-19 safety plans must continue to be followed, including wearing masks and staying away if you feel unwell,” it was stated in the BC Health release today.
“No one should be travelling for leisure or vacation outside of your local communities or regions,” say Dr Henry and Minister Dix. “The risk for all of us is too great, which means any of our usual travel and holiday weekend gatherings need to be put on hold this year.”
Vancouver Island profile:
There are 3,324 active cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island. The new 47 cases today brings the Island Health total to 3,324 pandemic-to-date. A relatively low number of people are hospitalized with COVID (13), with one in intensive care; hospital total to date is 166.
There have been 226 children under the age of 10 with COVID test-positive cases in Island Health (4.7% of BC total), and 398 youth ages 10 to 19 (4.0% of BC total).
There have been 29 deaths in Island Health due to COVID (the latest one reported on March 29).