2021-03-15 BC

Mitigation Measures

Because of COVID, the province made legal takeout/delivery sales of alcohol alongside the purchase of a meal. They just made that rule permanent.

Many people have wondered what long-term effects the pandemic would have, and I promise you “takeout/delivery alcohol sales” was not on my list or any list I saw.

Press Briefing

Today Dr. Henry talked about the use of AZ. She said that AZ would be used chains of transmission in workplaces that lead back to our communities, especially those where the nature of the workplace made it difficult to use PPE in the course of the work and install barriers, and where there was congregate housing. She pointed out that frequently those were low-wage jobs as well, frequently racialized.

She talked frequently about “outbreaks” in those places. However, for the Vitrum Glass outbreak, they used Pfizer, so now I am slightly confused about her language. I had thought that the AZ was for pre-emptive use on risky businesses.

She also talked about faith services. There’s a pub health team working on figuring out three things:

  • how to do outdoor services safely (which should be coming any day),
  • how to do important one-of events like Passover and Easter safely (which should be coming in a week or two), and
  • how to do indoor services safely (which should be coming in April).

Dix gave an update on the availability of beds, which he does routinely. I kind of tuned out, but the most important thing is that we have lots of beds available, we are in zero danger right now of overloading our medical system.

Dix mentioned that 7.4% of BCers have now gotten shots.

Q&A

NB: These are heavily paraphrased.

Q: Why did you use Pfizer for the Vitrum Glass outbreak, and why did you bother vaccinating instead of shutting the place down, since vax takes 2-3 weeks to take effect? A: We do shut down businesses, that’s one of our tools. We’ve been using shutdowns and isolation (including of their close family and contacts) and testing, now we have another tool: vaccines. We use the vaccines we have available. NB: She didn’t clearly address the question of why they used Pfizer.

Q: Some of the businesses which have gotten vax like that don’t seem “essential”, wth? A: Everybody is essential.

Q: People can now meet with 10 people outdoors, does that mean they can eat on restaurant patios outdoors with 10 people? A: No. Six. Something something has effects on worker safety which has effects on our communities.

Q: The 80+ age cohort got bumped up, does that mean everybody younger is going to be bumped up? A: Yes, everybody gets bumped up.

Q: Isn’t it confusing to change when people can go? A: We want to go as fast as possible given the supply we’ve got, and the supply keeps changing. We think people will cope with their dates getting moved up much better than moved down. We have a lot of uncertainty in vax deliveries, we’re doing the best we can in the face of that uncertainty.

Q: Yes or no, is it true that if private schools put in mask mandates they will get shot down? A: Each school’s implementation of the guidelines is a result of discussions between the school board, the principal, and pub health. NB: You are absolutely correct, she did not answer the question.

Q: There’s concern about blood clots with AZ, why don’t we just pause use of our AZ until that’s cleared up? A: First, remember that bad things happen to people all the time without vaccines, so we have to be careful to distinguish between coincidence and causation. Second, there were 37 blood clot events which isn’t actually that many compared to the general population. Third, those events were from two lots of AZ from AstraZeneca Inc, and there have been 17 million vaccinations in the UK which have been just fine. Fourth, we don’t even get AZ from AstraZeneca (yet), ours has come from Serum Institute of India.

Q: Are you declining to pause AZ because it’s going to expire at the end of April? A: No.

Q: Are you going to start using AZ on 65+? We are still planning on using our AZ for the occupation track and mRNA for the age track. We think it’s okay to use AZ on 65+, but it’ll be nice if the National Advisory Committee on Immunization comes out with that recommendation.

Q: Are you worried that if everyone in Prince Rupert gets vaxxed, they will get sloppy with mitigation measures? A: Everybody needs to keep paying attention because vaccines are not 100% protection and people move and take the virus with them. We’re not safe until we are all safe.

Statistics

Fri/Sat: +555 cases
Sat/Sun: +491 cases
Sun/Mon: +460 cases


Over weekend, +10 deaths, +28,360 first doses, +35 second doses, +163 VOC cases found (+181 of B.1.1.7, +41 of B.1.351, +7 of P.1).

Currently 269 in hospital, 4987 active cases, over 9000 under monitoring, 81,890 recovered.

NB: Those numbers are not as high as I had expected them be, especially given how the VOC cases keep rising, especially since the Vitrum Glass outbreak had 44 people all by itself. Maybe the vaccinations are helping? Maybe the weather change is helping?

Charts

Moderna finally delivered! They still owe us 14200 doses that they were supposed to get to us on Wednesday.

VOCs

Once upon a time, Dr. Henry said that their point-prevalence survey showed that there were only .1% (3 of 3099) samples which were VOCs. Well, now it turns out that it was actually more like 1% (28 of 3099). Ooops. BC CDC also seems to be avoiding fessing up to the mistake.

Vaccines

Today 24,576 people booked vaccination appointments. Keep ’em coming!

Health AuthorityTodayTotal
Vancouver Island5,31825,187
Fraser8,29347,094
Interior5,39423,364
Vancouver Coastal3,59725,142
Northern1,97412,121

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