B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for first time in more than four months

The 648 new cases is the second-highest daily tally of the year, and active case counts are rising.

There is a mix of good and bad news in the metrics tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C.

The good news is that the province recorded no new COVID-19-related deaths, for the first time since November 5 – more than 18 weeks ago.

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Unfortunately, other metrics point to worsening spread of the virus that has spawned a global pandemic.

B.C. recorded 648 new infections in the past day – the province's second-highest number of new COVID-19 infections in a 24-hour period so far this year, following the spike to 761 cases on January 7.

Hospitalizations are also on the rise, with 255 British Columbians fighting the virus in hospitals, and 67 of those in intensive care units. There have not been more people in B.C. hospitals with COVID-19 -related complications since February 4, when there were 257.

The vast majority of the 5,070 people known to be actively fighting the virus have been told to self-isolate at home. The last time the number of people fighting active COVID-19 infections in B.C. was higher was on January 11.

Health officials are monitoring 9,155 people for symptoms, because they have had known exposure to people identified as being infected. That is more than on any other day so far this year. 

More than 92.4%, or 80,325 individuals, out of the 86,867 people infected in B.C. with the virus have recovered. The status for another 75 people who were infected in B.C. are unaccounted for, with health officials telling Glacier Media that the individuals likely left the province without alerting authorities on their recovery status.

Health officials in B.C. administered a single-day high of 13,952 doses of vaccine in the past day, to 13,937 people. Those doses included needed second shots of vaccine to 15 people. 

That brings the total of people in B.C. who have received at least one vaccine dose to 293,719, with 87,024 people having had two doses. 

Here is the breakdown of where the 648 newly infected people reside, by health region:
• 149 in Vancouver Coastal Health (23%);
• 372 in Fraser Health (57.4%);
• 32 in Island Health (4.9%);
• 39 in Interior Health (6%); and
• 56 in Northern Health (8.6%).

"There have been 79 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in our province, for a total of 717 cases," provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement.

Of the 717 variant cases, 99 are active and 618 people have recovered.

The variant cases include 667 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 36 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 14 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant, according to health officials. 

Despite Dix yesterday (March 11) saying that 96% of residents in seniors' care homes across the province have been vaccinated, new outbreaks keep popping up.

One new outbreak at a seniors' home discovered in the past day is at Oceana PARC in White Rock. There is also a new outbreak at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge. 

None of the 10 active outbreaks at B.C. seniors' homes is in the Vancouver Coastal Health or Island Health regions. 

The six active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Fraser Health are:
• Chartwell Carrington House in Mission;
• Fleetwood Place in Surrey;
• Holmberg House Hospice in Abbotsford;
• Oceana PARC in White Rock;
• Revera Sunwood in Maple Ridge; and
• Shaughnessy Care Centre in Port Coquitlam.

The only outbreak at such a facility in the Northern Health region is at the Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert.

The three active outbreaks at seniors' living facilities in Interior Health are:
• Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops,
• The Florentine in Merritt; and
• Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna.

There are also nine active COVID-19 outbreaks at B.C. hospitals. They include:
• Chilliwack General Hospital in Chilliwack;
• Dawson Creek and District Hospital in Dawson Creek;
• Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody;
• Kelowna General Hospital in Kelowna;
• Mission Memorial Hospital in Mission;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge;
• Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster;
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey; and
• Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver. 

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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