COVID-19 infections in B.C. surpass 60,000, as hospitalizations fall

Hospitalizations are at a three-week low; ICU residency at lowest level in seven weeks

B.C. passed the 60,000-person threshold for COVID-19 infections on January 15, as health officials detected 509 new cases, pushing the total number of infections in B.C. to 60,117.

The number of recoveries overnight just barely exceeded the number of new cases, as 510 people are newly considered to be recovered. Given that there were nine new deaths, the number of British Columbians actively fighting off infections should have fallen by 10, to 4,614. Official government statistics, however, say that this number fell by 20.

That means that 10 more people who had active infections may have left the province without alerting health offiicals. Infected people leaving the province without alerting officials has been an ongoing situation since early in the pandemic. A total of 1,351 people, who were once infected, have gone unaccounted for to date.

The death toll in B.C. from the virus is now 1,047 people, while 53,115 are listed as having recovered.

Some good news is in the decline in the number of those with illnesses serious enough to be hospitalized. With 13 fewer people in hospital today, compared with yesterday, there remain 349 people battling serious infections in those institutions. That is the lowest total since Christmas Eve.

Intensive care wards across the province, with 68 COVID-19 patients, have not housed so few infected individuals since November 26 – more than seven weeks ago. 

Contributing to fewer infected individuals is the fact that the number of people who health officials are actively monitoring for symptoms has been on a steady decline, and at 7,132 people, has not been this low since November 3. 

Vaccinations are another bright spot, with 12,484 people newly vaccinated in the past two days. That is several times the 3,528 people who had been vaccinated in the previous two days. In total, 75,914 people have been vaccinated so far in the province, and news reports have indicated that some people have even had their second doses of the vaccine. Those vaccinations started on December 16.

Here is a regional breakdown of where the 509 new cases were identified:
• 101 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (19.8%);
• 260 people in Fraser Health (51%);
• 13 in Island Health (2.5%);
• 86 in Interior Health (16.9%); and
• 49 in Northern Health (9.6%). 

"We have had one new health-care facility outbreak at Hilltop House," provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement.

"The outbreaks at Villa Cathay and Wingtat Game Bird Packers are now over."

The nine hospitals that have active COVID-19 outbreaks are:
• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake;
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Mount St. Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver;
• St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey;
• Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver; and
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.

The 10 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Vancouver Coastal Health are at:
• Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Braddan Private Hospital in Vancouver;
• Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver;
• Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond;
• German Canadian Benevolent Society Home in Vancouver;
• Hilltop House in Squamish;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Minoru Residence in Richmond;
• Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver; and
• Sunrise of Vancouver in Vancouver.

The 26 active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health are at:
• Agecare Harmony Court Care Centre in Burnaby;
• Avalon Gardens in Langley;
• Brookside Lodge in Surrey;
• Evergreen Baptist Care Society in White Rock;
• Fleetwood Villa in Surrey;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre in Delta;
• Guildford Seniors' Village in Surrey;
• Hilton Villa Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Kin Village in Tsawwassen;
• Kin Village West Court in Tsawwassen;
• Laurel Place in Surrey;
• Madison Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• Maple Ridge Seniors' Village in Maple Ridge;
• Mayfair Seniors Living Care in Abbotsford;
• Menno Home in Abbotsford;
• Morgan Place Care Facility in Surrey
• Nicola Lodge in Port Coquitlam;
• Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge in White Rock;
• Queen's Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Rideau Retirement Residence in Burnaby;
• Royal City Manor in New Westminster;
• St. Michael's Centre Extended Care in Burnaby;
• Suncreek Village in Surrey;
• The Emerald at Elim Village in Surrey;
• The Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey; and
• Waterford Retirement Residence in Delta.

The only active outbreak at a seniors' living facility in Northern Health is Jubilee Lodge in Prince George.

The nine active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are at:
• Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops;
• Creekside Landing in Vernon;
• Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna;
• Heritage Square in Vernon;
• McKinney Place in Oliver;
• Mountainview Village in Kelowna;
• Noric House in Vernon;
• Sunnybank Retirement Home in Oliver;
• Williams Lake Seniors Village in Williams Lake; and
• Village by the Station in Penticton.

In Island Health, there are two seniors' facilities with an active outbreak of COVID-19:
• Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo; and
• Hart House in Victoria.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom 

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