2021-10-19 BC

Long Term Care Homes

This article says that the province has seized all the assets of Little Mountain Place Care Home (site of the worst LTCH outbreak) and its two sister LTCHs.

Influenza Season Opener

One way to reduce the pandemic burden is to not increase hospitals’ burden with influenza (and to not burden COVID-19 testing sites when you have influenza). So go get your influenza vaccination, available now where all flu shots are given. AND THIS YEAR IT IS FREE!!! SO GO GET A FLU SHOT!

Last year, we didn’t have any (literally! zero. none. nada.) influenza cases except for cases that probably came from pediatric live virus vaccines. This year, we’ve already had one influenza case, probably because we have more international travel this year.

Mitigation measures

The province has relaxed some Orders. At events with vax card requirements (like weddings, funerals, or sporting events), the capacity limit has been raised to 100%. Also, you do not have to remain seated at restaurants and bars. Still no dancing, however, and you have to keep your mask on if you are mingling.

Press Briefing

In addition to the announcement about the relaxation of some Orders, and the exhortation to get a flu shot, the press briefing covered information about COVID-19 in schools.

There was a big increase in cases after the start of the school year, but it’s coming down fast now:

During Q&A, a reporter asked, “doesn’t that show that you should have had a mask mandate for the little kids from the beginning?”, and Dr.H pointed out that there was always a mask mandate for the 9-11 y/o.

This chart shows where there was infection:

There have been big drops in kids in Interior Health recently. (DrH also spoke of a big drop in Northern Health, but I’m not seeing it.) She notes that in places with high vax rate — VCH and VIH — the pediatric case rate is low.

DrH pointed out that there is really high testing of kids now, mostly because they have all kinds of other respiratory diseases right now — RSV, rhinoviruses, enteroviruses — that look like COVID-19 so they get tested for COVID-19. Dark blue is number of tests, light blue is positivity rate:

DrH says that they have been watching very carefully for severe cases. Other countries, like the US, had more severe cases in children. She says they are not seeing more severity here. Cases continue to be mild, with very very few hospitalizations. Last week there were six hospitalizations of people under 17, with none in the 5-12 y/o cohort. Hospitalization is incredibly rare in vaccinated 12-17 y/o kids.

They have done some more in-depth analysis of transmission in schools, especially in IH. In IH, there have been 80 clusters where there might have been transmission, which is about 1/4 of the cases. In 46 schools (which is 12%), with an average cluster size of about 3. Last year, the average was more like 1.2.

Less than 1/3 of the schools across the province have had an exposure. This is slightly increased but still under control, she says. Most of the source is from outside the classroom, she says.

She then switched to boosters. She said in LTCHs, the first boosters went to those which were most at risk (i.e. which had cases), then ones which were earliest and so had the short dosing interval. In the question period, she said that the first cohort to get boosters was the severely immunocompromised, and those are done. The second cohort is LTCH/AL, and those are in progress. Next will be people who are still immunocompromised, but not as badly. She mentioned that in the past week, there have been more boosters than first doses.

She emphasized that people who had had COVID-19 infection should still go get a vaccination. The post-infection durability is really variable.

Dix gave lots of statistics, much to my non-surprise.

We are near or slightly above the ICU base beds kind of everywhere. Some surgeries, but a minority of them, are getting delayed. Province-wide, we have about 10% of base beds vacant.

LTCH and Assisted Living workers have been getting vaxxed. Across the entire HC system, 96% are vaccinated.

There were more questions, but I am too bored with them to repeat them. There was a question about closing Rolly’s Restaurant in Hope.

Statistics

+560 cases, +5 deaths, ​​+2,240 first doses, +5,622 second doses, +5,049 “other” doses, probably boosters.

Currently 382 in hospital / 146 in ICU, 4,913 active cases, 191,476 recovered.

first dosessecond doses
of adults89.7%84.2%
of over-12s89.2%83.5%
of all BCers81.2%75.9%

Note that there is a discontinuity in all-of-BC first doses; today’s takes into account the number of shots that were booster shots while previous numbers did not. I apologize for the overly-high estimate in the past.

Charts

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