B.C.’s total COVID-19 data for a year of the pandemic and emergency measures. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C.’s total COVID-19 data for a year of the pandemic and emergency measures. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C.’s year of COVID-19: infections creep up, senior homes protected

Eighth-largest cause of death, behind cancer, heart disease, overdoses

The encouraging news in B.C.’s public health report on one year of the COVID-19 pandemic is that vaccinated seniors are significantly protected, children have had few severe illnesses, and B.C. maintained a lower infection rate than other large provinces while keeping schools and many businesses open.

The troubling signs include high infection rate in B.C.’s northwest, with mass vaccination of Prince Rupert, Port Edward and Haida Gwaii targeted for completion by April. And as provincial health officials work out which essential employee groups get priority for AstraZeneca vaccine in addition to the age-based mass immunization program, overall case numbers have started to climb, particularly variant strains.

RELATED: Prince Rupert, Port Edward prioritized for vaccine

RELATED: Vaccine reaches most B.C. Indigenous communities

Premier John Horgan and other party leaders marked the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global pandemic in the legislature, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released the latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control modelling data Thursday.

“We have been on a steadily downward trajectory until about the middle of February,” Henry said March 11, with cases starting back up but the crucial hospitalization and death rates continuing to decline.

The data set confirms that vaccination of senior home staff and residents has dropped the infection rate in both groups to a low level.

B.C.’s cases of “variants of concern” have risen but are still below 10 per cent of new cases, compared to the 40 per cent just reported in Ontario, Henry said.

B.C.’s success in limiting serious illness and death from the novel coronavirus is reflected in cause-of-death statistics for 2020. COVID-19 ranks eighth, with the top four remaining cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In fifth place is illicit drug overdoses, followed by lower-respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia, accidents, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, hypertension and suicide.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

A Quesnel resident receives a shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine earlier this month. (Photo credit: Cassidy Dankochik/Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
IH says COVID-19 vaccines safe despite claims of Lytton physician

Doctor makes unsubstantiated claims about serious side effects of Moderna vaccine

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood, this includes protecting one’s home by moving equipment and other assets from these areas to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-normal spring flood season

High-streamflow advisory issued for the Cariboo Region and areas including Williams Lake, Quesnel and Prince George

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amounts from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

Most Read