B.C. sees 12 more COVID-19 deaths, as number of active infections keeps falling

Province detected 519 new infections in the past 24 hours

Deaths from COVID-19 in B.C. continue to rack up, even as the number of those actively battling infections continues to fall, and is at the lowest level since November 6.

A dozen more people died from the virus overnight in B.C., making the death toll 1,031 people, since the first death was recorded on March 9. Active infections, however, fell for the fourth straight day, and are now at 4,810.

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The vast majority of those fighting infections have been told to self-isolate, but 360 of them have infections severe enough to be in hospital, with 76 of those being in intensive care units.

The 519 new infections detected in the past day bring the total number of those infected since last January to 59,072. More than 87.8%, or 51,893 of those infected are considered to be recovered. Testing rose substantially, compared with the last two days, as 9,050 people were tested. That makes the positive test rate 5.7% – the lowest it has been all year.

The province's numbers reveal that 1,338 people who were once infected are unaccounted for, as they are not listed as either battling active infections, being considered recovered or having died. The province has told BIV that the most likely explanation for this is that they left the province without alerting health officials. 

Here is a breakdown of where the 519 new cases were identified:
• 117 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (22.5%);
• 235 people in Fraser Health (45.2%);
• 34 in Island Health (6.5%);
• 84 in Interior Health (16.2%);
• 45 in Northern Health (8.7%); and
• four cases of individuals who reside outside the province.

The number of vaccinations has fallen off in the last few days, and only 1,136 vaccinations have been given in the past day. The slowdown is largely because the province has used up its supply of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and has earmarked the Moderna vaccine doses to isolated communities and the vaccine takes a while to get there. 

British Columbians, however, can expect a substantial number of new doses arriving this spring, according to Health Minister Adrian Dix. He told media January 13 that he expects 2.64 million doses to arrive in B.C. between April and June. That is up from the 792,275 doses that he expects to be delivered between mid-December 2020 and March 2021.

Dix said that he expects about 25,000 new vaccine doses each week in the December-January timeframe, with that number "building up to an average of 68,400 doses per week, starting in February. So that's a significant ramping up."

The government has also appointed former City of Vancouver manager Penny Ballem to join the B.C. immunization response team as the executive lead. Ballem is trained as a physician.

One new healthcare facility outbreak of COVID-19 is at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

That makes for 12 hospitals that have active COVID-19 outbreaks. They are:
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Mount St. Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver;
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Langley Memorial Hospital in Langley;
• Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver;
• Richmond Hospital in Richmond;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey;
• Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver; and
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

The 11 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health are at:
• Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Braddan Private Hospital in Vancouver;
• Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver;
• Columbus Residence in Vancouver;
• Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond;
• German Canadian Benevolent Society Home in Vancouver;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Minoru Residence in Richmond;
• Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Sunrise of Vancouver in Vancouver; and
• Villa Cathay in Vancouver.

The 25 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health are at:
• Agecare Harmony Court Care Centre in Burnaby;
• Brookside Lodge in Surrey;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• Fleetwood Villa in Surrey;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre in Delta;
• Guildford Seniors' Village in Surrey;
• Hilton Villa Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Kin Village in Tsawwassen;
• Kin Village West Court in Tsawwassen;
• Langley Memorial Hospital long term care - Cedar Hill in Langley;
• Laurel Place in Surrey;
• Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• 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 Emerald at Elim Village in Surrey;
• The Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey; and
• The Mayfair Seniors Living & Care in Abbotsford.

The two active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Northern Health are at Jubilee Lodge in Prince George and Williams Lake Seniors Village in Williams Lake.

The eight active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are at:
• Creekside Landing in Vernon;
• Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna;
• Heritage Square in Vernon;
• McKinney Place in Oliver;
• Mountainview Village in Kelowna;
• Noric House in Vernon;
• Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver; and
• Village by the Station in Penticton.

In Island Health, there are four seniors' facilities with an active outbreak of COVID-19:
• Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo;
• Gatehouse Group Home in Victoria;
• Hart House in Victoria; and
• Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted-living facility in Duncan. 

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom 

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