A pedestrian wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses an umbrella as snow falls in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A pedestrian wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses an umbrella as snow falls in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records 26 deaths over Family Day weekend; top doctor says vaccine delivery ramping up

Daily cases stayed below 500 for each day of the long weekend

B.C. recorded 1,533 new cases of COVID-19, and 26 deaths, over the Family Day long weekend, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a press conference Tuesday (Feb. 16).

By day, the breaks down to 452 cases recorded Saturday, 431 cases reported Sunday, 348 cases on Monday, 302 on Tuesday and six epi-linked cases. There are a total of 4189 active cases currently, with 7,136 people under public health monitoring.

By region, the four-day total breaks down to 392 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 856 cases in Fraser Health, 92 cases in Interior Health, 58 cases in Island Health and 135 cases in Northern Health.

There have been a total of 74,283 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, as much of the province has spent months under heavy gathering restrictions. There are 231 people in hospital at the moment, 74 of whom are in intensive care or ICU. B.C.’s death toll from the coronavirus has reached 1,314.

There have been three new outbreaks in health-care facilities, and three that have ended. In total, there are 15 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities involving 561 residents and 349 staff, along with six in acute care. There have been two outbreaks in at schools and childcare centres; at Timothy Christian School in Chilliwack and the SFU Childcare Society.

Henry said that the deaths in long-term care stem from outbreaks that began prior to vaccination, or that residents or staff were infected right after their first dose, before the immune response and associated protection from COVID kicked in.

Henry said that there have been 171,755 doses of the COVID vaccine administered, of which 22,914 have been second doses. While B.C. has had few new doses of either approved COVID vaccines in recent weeks, Henry said that supply is ramping up and this week’s deliveries have already begun to show up.

But Health Minister Adrian Dix noted that the vaccination effort is not nearly far enough along for people to slow down on COVID safety measures.

“By April 1 about 10 per cent of the (B.C.) population will be immunized,” he said.

Henry said the B.C. health officials looked at data this weekend from other countries and at information from Quebec, which has delayed its second dose by months, to learn about the effects of delaying the second dose. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.

“This delay of several weeks between the first dose… and the second dose… does not have a negative impact on vaccine effectiveness,” Henry said.

“We know we have a buffer where we can safely delay the second dose.”

Henry said that most people who received the Pfizer shot will get their second one within a 42-day window, but those who got the Moderna shot may have to wait longer due to the intervals between shipments. Overall, 4000-6000 people will get their second shot outside of the 42 day window.

However, there have also been more variants of concern detected in B.C. There have been 40 cases found of the U.K. B117 variant, 19 cases of the B1351 South African variant and one of the B1525 Nigerian variant.

Henry reminded British Columbians that while cases have gone down from their high late last year, the situation can change quickly. In the past week, Henry said, the reproductive number (how many people each positive case spreads the virus to) has risen above one.

“The precautions we take today will have an impact two weeks from now,” she said. “Now is not the time to increase our social interactions, now is not the time to increase our events.”

READ MORE: ‘Their voice really matters’: Survey asks for input from B.C. youth on COVID’s effects

READ MORE: 12% of COVID-19 rule breakers in B.C. have paid their fines


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvideo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The future of the Cache Creek pool is still up in the air as council ponders different options and cost considerations. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
No decision about whether Cache Creek pool will open in 2021

Council still discussing pool’s future; no date set for public meeting about its fate

More people at home during the pandemic is probably one of the reasons for a spike in water usage in Ashcroft in 2020. (Photo credit: Pixabay)
Ashcroft residents urged to conserve water after usage spike in 2020

Water consumption in 2020 increased by 14 per cent over previous year

Sandbagging materials outside an Emergency Operations Centre in Cache Creek in April 2020, after flooding prompted several evacuation alerts and orders in the community. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Cache Creek council asks for more info about alert system

Decision about joining emergency notification system deferred to next meeting

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Most Read