As B.C. prepares for its next steps in the provincial immunization plan, the new case count has risen above 600 once again, which remains cause for concern, as is the continuing number of deaths.
Numbers in all other categories have risen as well.
Today, B.C. announced the next age-based and prioritized groups that will be able to schedule vaccine appointments, and how the immunization program will continue in the coming weeks. For more details, see this article.
B.C. update: March 18
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in a joint statement that there are 622 new cases in B.C. today.
That includes, by region:
- 317 new cases in Fraser Health;
- 184 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
- 54 in Northern Health;
- 35 in Island Health;
- 30 in Interior Health;
- two people from outside of Canada.
Currently, there are 4,941 active cases, which is an increase of 90 cases.
With five more people admitted to hospitals, there are now 286 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and 85 of those patients are in intensive care units (which is two more people since yesterday).
Public health is monitoring 9,620 people after exposures to identified cases, which is an increase of 148 people
Despite vaccinations, COVID-19 continues to claim lives. Today, Henry and Dix announced eight new COVID-19-related deaths. The total number of fatalities during the pandemic is now at 1,419 people who have died.
Since yesterday, 530 people have recovered, a cumulative total of 83,613 people have now recovered.
Over the course of the pandemic, B.C. has recorded a cumulative total of 90,049 cases,
- 52,640 cases in Fraser Health;
- 21,115 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
- 7,934 in Interior Health;
- 5,361 in Northern Health;
- 2,835 in Island Health;
- 164 people from outside of Canada.
Variants and vaccines
Henry and Dix stated that there are 136 new COVID-19 variant cases. That brings the cumulative total number to 1,132 variant cases in B.C.
Currently, 143 cases are active.
Of the total cases, there have been:
- 1,040 cases of the B117 (U.K.) variant;
- 41 cases of the B1351 (South Africa) variant;
- 51 cases of the P1 (Brazil) variant.
As of today, 465,584 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-SII vaccines have been administered in B.C. Of those, 87,120 have been second doses.
Outbreaks and exposures
For a second consecutive day, there’s good news as no new healthcare or community outbreaks have been announced.
Henry and Dix stated that the outbreak at Chartwell Hampton House in Chilliwack has been declared over.
In addition, none of the five regional health authorities—once again—added any new public exposure events.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added the following four flights to its lists of public COVID-19 exposures:
- March 8: Air Canada/Jazz 8564, Vancouver to Smithers;
- March 9: Air Canada/Jazz 8550, Vancouver to Regina;
- March 11: Air Canada 215, Calgary to Vancouver;
- March 12: Air Canada 314, Vancouver to Montreal.
Affected row information is listed at the BCCDC website.
Sobeys listed Thrifty Foods (310 Edgemont Boulevard) in North Vancouver, which had an employee who tested positive who last worked at the location on March 12.
Loblaw added six stores which had staff members who tested positive.
Four locations were Shoppers Drug Mart stores:
- one employee who tested positive last worked on March 11 at 104– and 201–748 Burrard Street in Vancouver;
- one employee who tested positive last worked on March 11 at 1295 Seymour Street in Vancouver;
- one employee who tested positive last worked on March 12 at 586 Granville Street in Vancouver;
- one employee who tested positive last worked on March 12 at 6–12830 96th Avenue in Surrey.
Two of the locations were at Real Canadian Superstore:
- two employees who tested positive last worked on March 5 and 9 at 19851 Willowbrook Drive in Langley;
- one employee who tested positive last worked on March 6 at 6–291 Cowichan Way P.R. in Duncan.