COVID-19 vaccinations increase as hospitalizations fall across B.C.

Number of those hospitalized with the virus in B.C. has fallen for fifth straight reporting period

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Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry regularly provides updates on the state of COVID-19 in B.C. | B.C. government

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in B.C. dropped for the fifth consecutive reporting period to the lowest total since November 27, nearly eight weeks ago.

There are now 309 people hospitalized with the virus, which is 11 fewer than yesterday. This metric is important because it shows additional capacity in the province’s healthcare system were a new surge in severe infections to take place.

The number of people in intensive care units (ICU) has stayed relatively steady, and is up by two from yesterday, to 68.

Unfortunately, 15 more people in B.C. lost their lives to the virus overnight, for a total of 1,119 people since the first COVID-19 death in Canada was recorded in B.C. on March 9.

New cases continue to outpace recoveries, with 564 new infections detected, and 446 more people deemed to have recovered.

Here is a regional breakdown of where the 564 new cases were identified:
• 111 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (19.7%);
• 234 people in Fraser Health (41.4%);
• 47 in Island Health (8.3%);
• 95 in Interior Health (16.8%);
• 76 in Northern Health (13.4%); and
• one person who resides outside the province.

Nearly 89%, or 56,010 individuals out of the 62,976 people identified in B.C. as having contracted the virus, are considered recovered.

The vast majority of the 4,450 people who are actively battling infections have been told to self-isolate. Health officials are also closely monitoring an additional 6,816 people because they have had known exposures to people identified as having been infected.

Vaccinations continue apace, despite reports of a slowdown in getting additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. There were 6,776 vaccinations in the past day, for a total of 104,901 vaccinations since the first shots were administered on December 16. That's the second highest single-day number of vaccinations in the province so far this year. 

"We have no new health-care facility outbreaks,” provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. “The outbreaks at Vancouver General Hospital, Ridge Meadows Hospital, Hart House, Fleetwood Villa, Arbutus Care Centre and Renfrew Care Centre are now over.”

They said that there is a new community cluster around Williams Lake, in B.C.’s Cariboo-Chilcotin region.

“We remind people to pay close attention to how they are feeling, and to immediately arrange to get tested if they are feeling unwell with symptoms of COVID-19,” they said.

“Despite our COVID-19 curve trending in the right direction, we continue to have new outbreaks, community clusters and high numbers of new cases. COVID-19 continues to spread widely in our communities.”

The seven hospitals identified as having active COVID-19 outbreaks are:
• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Mount St. Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver;
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey; and
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

The eight active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health are at:
• Braddan Private Hospital in Vancouver;
• Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond;
• German Canadian Benevolent Society Home in Vancouver;
• Hilltop House in Squamish;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Minoru Residence in Richmond;
• Sunrise of Vancouver in Vancouver; and
• Villa Cathay in Vancouver.

The 22 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health are at:
• Avalon Gardens in Langley;
• Brookside Lodge in Surrey;
• Eagle Ridge Manor in Port Moody;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre in Delta;
• Hilton Villa Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Kin Village in Tsawwassen;
• Kin Village West Court in Tsawwassen;
• Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• Mayfair Seniors Living Care in Abbotsford;
• Menno Home in Abbotsford;
• Morgan Place Care Facility in Surrey
• Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam;
• Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge in White Rock;
• Queen's Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Rideau Retirement Residence in Burnaby;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster;
• St. Michael's Centre Extended Care in Burnaby;
• Suncreek Village in Surrey;
• The Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey; and 
• Waterford Retirement Residence in Delta.

The two active outbreaks at a seniors' living facilities in Northern Health are at Jubilee Lodge in Prince George, and Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert.

The seven active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are at:
• Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops;
• Creekside Landing in Vernon;
• Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna;
• Heritage Square in Vernon;
• Noric House in Vernon;
• Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver; and
• Williams Lake Seniors Village in Williams Lake.

The only outbreak at a seniors' facility in Island Health is at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom