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B.C. sets record for number of people in intensive care units with COVID-19 – Bowen Island Undercurrent

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The number of British Columbians with serious enough COVID-19-related illnesses to be in hospital has been soaring in tandem with the rise of variants of the virus that are believed to spread more easily. 

There are now a record 96 people in B.C. hospitals’ intensive care units (ICU). That is up by six from April 3, and by 17 from April 1. 

In total, 318 British Columbians are in hospital with ailments related to the virus that has spawned a global pandemic. That is the highest number since January 25.

The rise in serious cases of COVID-19 illness comes as the province recorded 23 more virus-related deaths in the past four days. That raises the death toll from COVID-19 in B.C. to 1,486.

New daily COVID-19 case counts continue to be elevated. 

Health officials detected 890 new cases in the past 24 hours, and 999 cases in the day before that. B.C. set a record by identifying 1,072 new cases on April 1. In total, 104,061 infections have been identified since the first case was discovered in January, 2020. Of those, more than 91.1%, or 94,806 people have recovered. 

The rise in the number of cases and serious infections comes as mutant strains of the virus are exploding, particularly the P.1 strain first discovered in Brazil.

B.C. has now detected 737 people infected with the P.1 variant. That number is more than 94% higher than the 379 people known to have been infected by that strain four days ago. Rumours have swirled that the Vancouver Canucks’ recent outbreak of COVID-19 illnesses is from the P.1 variant. 

Health officials are particularly concerned about the P.1 variant not only because it is believed to transmit more easily than the main COVID-19 strain, but also because there is some evidence that it may be resistant to vaccines. 

Health officials detected 916 additional cases of the so-called “variants of concern” in the past four days. That includes 557 cases of the B.1.1.7 strain first identified in the U.K., 358 new cases of the P.1 strain, and one case of the B.1.351 strain first detected in South Africa.

So far no one in B.C. is known to have died from an infection with a mutant COVID-19 strain, but 588 people are actively battling infections with the others considered by the province to have recovered. 

The number of daily vaccinations had been at a record high on April 3, with an average of 34,545.5 people per day on April 2 and 3. In the past couple days, however, only 36,772 new people have been vaccinated, or an average of 18,386 people in each of the past two days. Health officials also provided needed second doses to 17 people in the past two days. 

In total, the province has administered 893,590 doses of vaccine to 806,118 people, with 87,472 individuals getting needed second doses. 

Health officials are monitoring 11,989 people for symptoms because they have had known exposure to individuals identified as carrying the virus. That is the highest number since December 11, when 12,008 people were being monitored.  A record 12,016 people were being monitored for symptoms on November 13. 

The rise in the number of variant cases, serious infections and overall spread of COVID-19 prompted provincial health officer Bonnie Henry on March 29 to launch what she called a “circuit breaker,” by enacting new health orders, such as banning in-restaurant dining. 

Since then, proprietors at restaurants, such as Gusto, and Corduroy, flouted those health orders and allowed customers to eat meals or snacks inside. This prompted a stern rebuke last night from the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

“The BCRFA urges the immediate closure, fining and business license revocation of any business who elects to defy health orders,” the association said in a statement. 

Today, the City of Vancouver followed up with the scofflaws by suspending their business licenses until at least April 20. 

Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a mid-afternoon interview that the remarkable thing is really the adherence by restaurants to the health orders. 

“The real thing that we should all be appreciative of, and recognize, is all of the other restaurants, which are in the thousands, in the tens of thousands, perhaps, across B.C., who are following the rules,” Dix said. “We need to support them – those that are providing takeout – by getting takeout, if we can, and recognizing the impact on them. The way bigger story, it seems to me, is the 99.8% or 99% of restaurants that are following the rules.”

There remain three outbreaks active at B.C. seniors’ homes. They are:
• Fleetwood Place in Surrey;
• Longlake Chateau in Nanaimo; and
• Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna.

The nine hospitals in B.C. with active outbreaks are:
• Abbotsford Regional Hospital in Abbotsford;
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody;
• Kelowna General Hospital in Kelowna;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge;
• Prince Rupert Regional Hospital in Prince Rupert;
• UBC Hospital in Vancouver;
• Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver; and 
• Vernon Jubilee Hospital in Vernon.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids? – Delta-Optimist

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Is the delta variant of the coronavirus worse for kids?

Experts say there’s no strong evidence that it makes children and teens sicker than earlier versions of the virus, although delta has led to a surge in infections among kids because it’s more contagious.

Delta’s ability to spread more easily makes it more of a risk to children and underscores the need for masks in schools and vaccinations for those who are old enough, said Dr. Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Weekly infection rates among U.S. children earlier this month topped 250,000, surpassing the wintertime peak, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association. Since the pandemic began, more than 5 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19.

The delta variant has been identified in at least 180 countries, according to the World Health Organization. In many of them, the spike in infections has also meant an increase in hospitalizations in young children and teens.

In the U.S., the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 was less than 2 per 100,000 children in late August and early September — similar to the peak last winter, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the portion of kids hospitalized with severe disease hasn’t changed significantly.

The sheer numbers can make it seem like children are getting sicker with the delta variant, but experts say that does not appear to be the case. Most infected kids have mild infections or no symptoms and do not need to be hospitalized.

COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide protection against delta. Among children 12 and older — who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations — the weekly hospitalization rate in July was 10 times higher for the unvaccinated than those who have had the shots, CDC data show.

___

The AP is answering your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them at: FactCheck@AP.org. Read more here:

What can employers do if workers avoid COVID-19 vaccines?

Can I get ‘long COVID’ if I’m infected after vaccination?

Can kids be harmed wearing masks to protect against COVID?

Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press


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Data from 3 major hospital systems reveals how many COVID-19 patients are fully vaccinated – Bring Me The News

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While the COVID vaccines are shown to be effective albeit not bulletproof at preventing infection from the virus, their effectiveness at preventing hospitalization and death is much greater.

Four Minnesota healthcare institutions provided specific data that shows the percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are fully vaccinated, and how many are unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated.

Allina Health, which has 14 hospitals in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, reports that almost four out of five COVID-19 patients hospitalized through Sept. 20 were unvaccinated.

Its data show that of 176 COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Sept. 20, 32 were in the ICU and 21 required a ventilator. Hospitalized patients who were fully vaccinated represented 22.7% of the total, and just 15.6% of the ICU cases and 9.5% of the cases with a ventilator. 

Credit: Allina Health

HealthPartners, which has nine hospitals in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, told Bring Me The News that it has cared for 338 COVID-19 patients in the past 30 days and 53 of them (15.7%) were fully vaccinated. 

“Of those 53 patients, only six required intensive care, two needed the support of a ventilator and nobody died. Year-to-date, 6.3% of hospitalized patients have been fully vaccinated,” a spokesperson from HealthPartners said. 

Sanford Health, which operates 22 regional hospitals, is reporting that 10.1% of all COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Sept. 21 were fully vaccinated. Only two of 45 in the ICU and one of 34 patients on a ventilator were fully vaxxed,

Hospitalizations (1)

Sanford Health

More of the same from CentraCare, which operates eight hospitals in the region. The latest data provided Thursday (it changes daily and even hourly) had six of 67 COVID-19 inpatients documented as fully vaccinated. 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations_9.23.2021

CentraCare

To recap, that’s four major hospital systems that are reporting between 9% and 22% of all COVID-19 patients being fully vaccinated, with even lower percentages of vaccinated patients in the ICU or on a ventilator. 

“COVID-19 vaccines continue to be our best tool in stopping the spread of infection and preventing serious illness and death,” the HealthPartners spokesperson said.

Bring Me The News has requested vaccinated and unvaccinated ratios from other major providers, including Mayo Clinic Health Systems, Hennepin Healthcare and Essentia Health. 

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330 people are in BC hospitals with COVID-19 – MY PG NOW

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B.C. is reporting 832 new cases of COVID-19, 117 in Northern Health, 153 in Interior Health.

There are 5,697 active cases in the province, of those cases, 330 individuals are in hospital and 148 are in intensive care.

The north has 977 active cases, and the interior has 1,181.

87.3% of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a vaccine and 79.9% received their second dose.

The new/active cases include:

* 377 new cases in Fraser Health
* Total active cases: 1,932

* 114 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health
* Total active cases: 909

* 153 new cases in Interior Health
* Total active cases: 1,181

* 117 new cases in Northern Health
* Total active cases: 977

* 71 new cases in Island Health
* Total active cases: 654

* no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada
* Total active cases: 44

There were five new deaths reported, one was in Northern Health.

From Sept. 15-21, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 75.5% of cases and from Sept. 8-21, they accounted for 82.6% of hospitalizations.

Past week cases (Sept. 15-21) – Total 4,417

* Not vaccinated: 2,996 (67.8%)

* Partially vaccinated: 342 (7.7%)

* Fully vaccinated: 1,079 (24.4%)

Past two weeks cases hospitalized (Sept. 8-21) – Total 437

* Not vaccinated: 327 (74.8%)

* Partially vaccinated: 34 (7.8%)

* Fully vaccinated: 76 (17.4%)

Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (Sept. 15-21)

* Not vaccinated: 289.0

* Partially vaccinated: 87.9

* Fully vaccinated: 27.0

Past two weeks, cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (Sept. 8-21)

* Not vaccinated: 46.5

* Partially vaccinated: 13.3

* Fully vaccinated: 1.8

After factoring for age, people not vaccinated are 25.8 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated.

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