New COVID-19 infections in B.C. continue to trend lower

Province’s death toll from the pandemic rises to 1,168, with 14 new deaths in past day

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

Despite B.C. recently detecting new, increasingly infectious strains of COVID-19, the province’s number of newly identified cases has been trending lower in recent days.

Unfortunately, there were 14 new deaths from the virus, pushing the province’s death toll from COVID-19 to 1,168.

B.C. recorded 407 new cases of the virus in the past day, according to government statistics. That is up from the 346 new cases detected yesterday, but down from the average 513 cases detected on a daily basis so far in 2021, up until yesterday.

In late November and early December, B.C. frequently recorded more than 700 new cases daily, with the record being 911 infections identified on November 27.

Nonetheless, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix believe this level remains too high.

”The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is much higher than we want it to be,” the two said in a January 26 joint statement.

“We are asking for everyone's help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province.”

The breakdown of the 407 new cases by health region is:
• 124 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (30.5%);
• 169 people in Fraser Health (41.5%);
• 22 in Island Health (5.4%);
• 54 in Interior Health (13.2%);
• 38 in Northern Health (9.3%); and
• one person who resides outside the province.

Some good news is that the number of people actively battling COVID-19 infections in the province has dropped to 4,260 – the lowest number since November 6, when there were 3,741 people with active cases of the virus.

There are 313 people in hospital fighting serious infections – 15 fewer than yesterday, with 71 of those hospitalized being in intensive care units.

More than 89.4%, or 58,352 people, out of the 65,234 individuals known to be infected with the virus in the province, have recovered.

Health officials are monitoring another 6,450 people for symptoms, because they have had known contact with identified cases. This is the lowest tally since November 2, when there were 6,448 people being monitored for symptoms.

Vaccinations have slowed down, as the supply of new doses to the province have largely dried up. There were 2,509 people vaccinated in the past day, for a total of 122,359 people vaccinated since vaccinations launched on December 16.

Of those, 4,105 people have had second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was the first one to be rolled out, and remains the most widely used vaccine in B.C. The province's strategy of vaccinating health workers and residents at seniors' homes appears to be having an effect. 

Henry and Dix said that there were no new healthcare facility outbreaks, and that the outbreak at German Canadian Benevolent Society Home in Vancouver is declared to be over. Many outbreaks at other homes have also been declared to be over in the past week.

There remain 10 hospitals identified as having active COVID-19 outbreaks. They are:
• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Mount St. Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in Nanaimo;
• Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster;
• Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops;
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey; and
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

The four active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health are at:
• Hilltop House in Squamish;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Minoru Residence in Richmond; and
• Villa Cathay in Vancouver.

There are 15 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health. They are at:
• Brookside Lodge in Surrey;
• Eagle Ridge Manor in Port Moody;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• 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;
• Morgan Place Care Facility in Surrey
• Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam;
• Rideau Retirement Residence in Burnaby;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster;
• St. Michael's Centre Extended Care in Burnaby; and
• Suncreek Village in Surrey.

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 six 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; and
• Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver.

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

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom