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COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. return to multi-month low – Burnaby Now

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The steady decline in COVID-19-related hospitalizations across B.C. continued Feb. 10, after a one-day blip yesterday, when the number of those in hospital rose slightly. There are now 230 British Columbians with COVID-19 infections severe enough to be in hospital – fewer than at any time since Nov. 20, when there were 227 such cases.

The number of people in intensive care units of those hospitals fell by two overnight to 66, a number not seen since Jan. 20. There has not been fewer people in intensive care units since Nov. 26. 

The province hit a high point for hospitalizations on Jan. 6, when there were 381 people sick enough to be in hospitals. 

The good news about fewer hospitalizations is that they lead to fewer deaths. Another six people died overnight from COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll from the virus to 1,269. In much of December, it was rare for there to be a day when there was not a double-digit number of new COVID-19-related deaths. 

The number of people battling active infections of the virus rose by 88 overnight to 4,305. More than 92%, or 66,167 people, out of the 71,856 who have been infected with the virus in the province have recovered. Another 6,820 people are being monitored for symptoms because they have had known exposure to people identified as having COVID-19.

New cases continue to rack up. 

There were 469 new cases detected overnight. Here is the breakdown of where they are located:
• 100 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (21.3%);
• 243 people in Fraser Health (51.8%);
• 25 in Island Health (5.3%);
• 46 in Interior Health (9.8%);
• 53 in Northern Health (11.3%);
• two people who reside outside B.C.

Vaccinations have slowed considerably thanks to what is said to be a temporary slowdown in supplies provided by manufacturers to the federal government. There were 2,212 vaccine doses provided in the past day, with most – 1,514 – given as second doses. Overall, 157,797 doses have been given to 143,481 people, with 14,316 of those people having their needed second doses.

Premier John Horgan, earlier today, promised what he called “many, many, more vials [of vaccine], as we get into March, April and May.”

At his 2 p.m. press conference, he also sounded optimistic that restrictions due to pubic health orders will be removed in the months ahead.

“As we get our immunization program up and running fully, when the federal government provides us with the vaccines that they’re committed to, we’re going to see changes in public health orders,” Horgan said. “We’re going to be seeing changes in our daily lives. Let’s look forward to those days.”

Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix released a joint statement to say that the province has one new healthcare-facility outbreak, at Carrington Place Retirement Residence in Vernon. 

The outbreak at Minoru Residence in Richmond is now over.

The eight hospitals in B.C. with active outbreaks now 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 Columbian Hospital in New Westminster;
• Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops;
• St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver;
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

There are active COVID-19 outbreaks at 19 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 nine active outbreaks at seniors’ living facilities in Fraser Health are:
• Bradley Centre in Chilliwack;
• Concord By the Sea in White Rock;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Eagle Ridge Manor in Port Moody;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz;
• Hilton Villa Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Mountain View Manor in Ladner; and
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster.

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;
• 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

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New B.C. infections well above national average, with one-third likely COVID-19 'long-haulers' – CTV News Vancouver

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VANCOUVER —
As British Columbia records its highest single-day case count in two months, the province is second only to Saskatchewan in new infections per capita over the past two weeks. Experts are warning more must be done soon, especially with thousands of people facing long-term symptoms.

On Friday, B.C. health officials announced 634 confirmed cases of COVID-19. A federal infobase shows B.C. infections at a rate of 141 per 100,000 residents when averaged over the past two weeks. Saskatchewan posted 186 per 100,000 residents, while the national average was just 108. And, while the majority of provinces showed a continued decline or flattening of infections, only the westernmost province showed significant growth.

“Obviously what we’re doing in British Columbia is not having the desired effect. We cannot have 650 cases a day and we cannot tolerate it until the vaccine kicks in and produces community-based immunity, we’re weeks and months away from that,” said Dr. Brian Conway, president of the Vancouver Infectious Disease Centre.

“All of this is suggestive of less-controlled, if not uncontrolled, community-based (rather than institutional) spread and this is the part of the pandemic that is of most concern,” Conway said. “If that occurs, then we need to intervene in a way that is different from what we are doing now to control (it).”

Only a handful of long-term care and assisted-living facilities declared outbreaks in February, and there haven’t been any in March so far.

While vaccine availability is ramping up and the number of deaths continues to decline, one of the experts on the front line is warning those numbers tell only part of the story.

Many thousands of “long COVID” cases in B.C.

As the months wear on, more and more people are reporting COVID-19 symptoms that persist well beyond their infectious period. Medical professionals treating them at three specialty clinics in Metro Vancouver say B.C. statistics mirror what other countries are observing.

“We don’t know what the absolute prevalence of the ‘long COVID’ disease is now, but we know from the data 75 per cent of hospitalized patients are having ongoing symptoms at 3 months,” said Dr. Zachary Schwartz, who leads the Post-COVID-19 Recovery Clinic at Vancouver General Hospital.

“For outpatients, probably upwards of 30 per cent of people can be still symptomatic at 6 months or 9 months after their infection.”

There isn’t a definition yet of what would qualify someone as a “long-hauler.” Symptoms can be mild to severe and range from tightness or pain in the chest to coughing and trouble breathing. Concussion-like symptoms – such as brain fog and fatigue – and mental health problems have also been reported.

“We do have psychiatrists involved in our networks that are seeing individuals relatively rapidly because we’re seeing both a new onset of mental health disorders like PTSD, anxiety, depression and – in people who have previously been diagnosed – we’re definitely seeing decompensation in some of their mental health as well,” he said.

In Surrey, they’ve only seen 18 patients at the Post-COVID-19 Recovery Clinic at Jim Pattison Outpatient and Surgery Centre, which opened Jan. 8.

A total of 130 patients have been accepted at VGH, where applications are now open for referrals. 

St. Paul’s Hospital has provided the lion’s share of the treatment, with 328 seen by doctors. Providence Health says the hospital is “building capacity both virtually and actually.”

With limited space, patients need a referral for treatment and the facilities are currently only accepting the most severe long-haulers. For those with mild to moderate symptoms, they’re increasingly providing online resources for them to manage their symptoms. 

Warnings from doctors as complacency becomes more common

As the weather warms up and pandemic fatigue has people desperate for company, Conway believes more targeted restrictions may be needed to avoid disaster.

“I’m hoping it’ll be the Whistler approach,” he said, noting that targeted business closures, emphasizing household bubbles and some changes to living situations slashed transmissions by 75 per cent in a month.

“My sense is, what’s going on in Surrey and the surrounding areas in the Fraser Valley is community-based transmission is occurring, so either it’s living situations that need to be changed or people are making decisions in their day-to-day lives that ‘this one time, this one evening, it’s OK to not follow the rules.’”

Conway praised public health officials in other provinces who moderated restrictions based on infections and allowed communities with few cases to carry on, while hotspots in Toronto and Montreal saw crackdowns that brought transmission under control.

“Broad restrictions (in B.C.) are probably not appropriate and people wouldn’t necessarily follow them anyway, they would be resistant, so I think a targeted approach is where we need to pay attention,” he suggested.

With 76,752 people who tested positive for the disease have now classified as “recovered,” Schwartz said it may be more accurate to call them “recovered from acute disease” or “no longer contagious,” since a third of them could still be experiencing symptoms; that’s roughly 25,000 people who could be feeling a faint tightness in the chest, or struggling to get out of bed.

“You don’t want to end up with these symptoms long-term because they’re debilitating … people who cannot get back to school full time, people who cannot get back to work full time,” he said, noting that aside from the personal and family toll that’s taking, it’ll increasingly have an impact on our economy and health-care system.

“When you apply that to a population health level, when you apply that to 500 cases a day just to British Columbia, it starts becoming significant,” Schwartz said. 

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Ontario aims for COVID-19 vaccinations by June 20 for 'every eligible person who wants it' – Niagarathisweek.com

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A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on March 5, 2021 – WellandTribune.ca

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:00 p.m. ET on Friday, March 5, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 85,376 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,253,514 doses given. Nationwide, 561,238 people or 1.5 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 5,946.061 per 100,000.

There were 8,190 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,622,210 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 85.94 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland is reporting 4,472 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 24,757 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.279 per 1,000. In the province, 1.61 per cent (8,427) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 35,620 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 1,105 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 13,281 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 83.724 per 1,000. In the province, 3.32 per cent (5,273) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 6,657 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 38,676 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 39.631 per 1,000. In the province, 1.48 per cent (14,395) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 62.4 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. In the province, 1.56 per cent (12,142) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 19,975 new vaccinations administered for a total of 510,479 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 59.659 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 638,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.96 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 35,886 new vaccinations administered for a total of 820,714 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.872 per 1,000. In the province, 1.83 per cent (269,063) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.86 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 2,358 new vaccinations administered for a total of 84,937 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 61.682 per 1,000. In the province, 2.17 per cent (29,847) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 8,190 new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 124,840 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.04 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 2,789 new vaccinations administered for a total of 86,879 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 73.679 per 1,000. In the province, 2.37 per cent (27,945) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 116.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 9,488 new vaccinations administered for a total of 275,719 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 62.634 per 1,000. In the province, 2.06 per cent (90,486) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 100.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 12,357 new vaccinations administered for a total of 311,208 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 60.646 per 1,000. In the province, 1.69 per cent (86,865) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 385,080 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 1,279 new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,437 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 465.769 per 1,000. In the territory, 17.00 per cent (7,093) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 102.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. In the territory, 10.10 per cent (4,558) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 103.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting 158 new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,911 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 359.216 per 1,000. In the territory, 13.28 per cent (5,144) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 58.21 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

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Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 5, 2021.

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