Number of B.C. COVID-19 patients in ICU falls for eighth straight day

There have not been fewer British Columbians with COVID-19 in ICU units since November 23

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry | Government of B.C.

The good news surrounding fewer people with serious cases of COVID-19 in B.C. continued February 12, with the number of patients in intensive care units (ICU) with the virus falling for the eighth straight day, to 61 – the lowest total since November 25, when there were also 61 such patients.

The last time there were fewer such ICU patients was on November 23, when there were 58.

Total occupancy in ICU wards across B.C. is now 54.7%, Health Minister Adrian Dix told media February 12.

The total number of British Columbians in hospital increased by two overnight to 226. The vast majority of the 4,347 people currently battling infections have been told to self-isolate at home. 

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said B.C.'s active infections include 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first found in the U.K., 17 cases of the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa, and one new case of the B.1.125 variant first found in Nigeria. These variants are of concern because they have been found to transmit more easily than the main virus. 

Ten British Columbians lost their lives to the virus overnight, bringing the province's death toll from the virus to 1,288.

Another 445 COVID-19 infections were detected overnight, bringing the total that the province has found to 72,750. Of those, 67,008, or more than 92% are considered recovered because they have tested negative for the virus twice.

Here is the breakdown of where the 445 new cases are located:
• 135 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (30.3%);
• 218 people in Fraser Health (49%);
• 15 in Island Health (3.4%);
• 44 in Interior Health (9.9%); and
• 30 in Northern Health (6.7%).

Health officials are monitoring 7,035 people for symptoms because those individuals have had known exposure to identified cases. 

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry acknowledged that the province has recently had a "very limited vaccine supply," as only 3,095 people were given doses of vaccine in the past day, with 1,878 of those doses going to people as a needed second dose. 

Henry said outbreaks are declared over at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, and at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

That leaves six hospitals in B.C. with active outbreaks. They include:
• Abbotsford Regional Hospital in Abbotsford;
• Burnaby General Hospital in Burnaby;
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Dawson Creek and District Hospital in Dawson Creek;
• Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops; and
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.

There are active COVID-19 outbreaks at 15 seniors' care homes, assisted-living facilities and retirement residences across the province. This is down from as many as 52 such facilities in January.

Holy Family long-term care centre in Vancouver is the only seniors' home with an outbreak in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. 

The six active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health are:
• Concord By the Sea in White Rock;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Eagle Ridge Manor in Port Moody;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Mountain View Manor in Ladner; and
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster.

The outbreak Jubilee Lodge in Prince George is now declared over, leaving the Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert as the only active outbreak in Northern Health. 

The seven active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are at:
• Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops;
• Carrington Place Retirement Residence in Vernon;
• Creekside Landing in Vernon;
• Heritage Square in Vernon;
• Noric House in Vernon;
• Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver; and
• Westsyde Care Residences in Kamloops.

There are no outbreaks at seniors' facilities in Island Health.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom