2022-01-18 BC

Press Briefing

Here’s what they said which I found new and interesting:

  • The Orders about bars and nightclubs being closed and performances being at half-capacity have been extended until 16 Feb. Funerals and weddings can still go on as always, but the parties associated with them are still restricted.
  • COVID Safety Plan requirements and vax card requirements have been extended until 16 Feb.
  • The Orders about gyms being closed is going to be lifted on 20 Jan. Gyms are going to have to have somewhat stricter rules, however: for example, 7 square meters per person (both when exercising solo and in classes), all patrons have to have their mask on when not actively exercising, increased filtering/ventilation, and all staff must be masked at all times (including personal trainers). I think that means that the yoga students can be maskless but not the yoga teacher.
  • There’s a new order which allows MHOs to legally get the vax status of school staff. This was to allow districts to get an idea of how many staff was unvaccinated, as part of figuring out if they wanted to put in a vax mandate. Every time Dr.H has been asked about vax mandates for schools, she has said that vax mandates have to come from employers, and the employers are the school districts. This designed to help the school districts.
  • Dr. H reminded people that even if Omicron doesn’t put you in the hospital, it can still kick your posterior, that it’s still not a fun illness to have.
  • Dr. H mentioned that 10% of all COVID patients still had some symptoms 12 weeks later. (That’s a lower estimate of Long COVID that most studies I’ve seen.)
  • Dr. H reminded everyone that vaccines were good things not just for the current COVID wave, but for future waves as well.
  • If you test positive on a rapid antigen test (RAT), then you do not need a PCR to confirm.
  • You do not need a negative test or doctor’s note to go back to work.
  • They will get ~4000 treatment courses (not doses; each treatment course takes 3 pills twice per day for five days) of Paxlovid soon. They will work with clinical care to figure out how to best allocate it. It’s going to go to the most vulnerable, which includes elderly, CEVs, immunocompromised, and unvaccinated younger people with comorbidities. It’s good news, but won’t change the course of our pandemic.
  • For people holding out for a non-mRNA vaccine, Novavax and Medicago are still wending their way through the system. Dr.H guessed that Medicago would probably get approved near the end of Jan or early Feb; Novavax likely wouldn’t get approved until Feb.
  • She emphasized that the vaccines don’t change your DNA and don’t impact your fertility. Yes, there are rare cases of vax causing heart inflammation, but it’s much more common for COVID-19 infection to cause heart inflammation.
  • Dix went rah-rah about vax, and said that there were 383K shots given last week, including 122K that were given by pharmacies.
  • Dix talked about how many RATs BC has and where they are going.
  • Hospital beds: there are 8778 patients in 9229 base beds, which 95.1% occupancy at a time of year when the occupancy is usually over 100%. There are also 2353 surge beds, of which 570 (24.2%) are occupied.
  • From Jan 10-16, 18K HCW (9.6%) called in sick, down from 19K last week.
  • 791 surgeries have been postponed, but that’s not as many as back in May when hospitals were really hammered (~3K). Dix gave lots of numbers; he also gave very detailed, hospital-by-hospital descriptions of what service impacts there were, e.g. reduced hours, no overnight services, surgeries postponed, etc. (If you want the gory details, go look at the video. This section starts at about 30 minutes in.)


Most of the questions were confusing, or didn’t get a straight answer, were boring, or I rolled the answer into the stuff above.

Q: Why didn’t you declare an outbreak at Pt. Grey LTCH where there were six staff and three residents sick? A: blah blah blah the answer revealed that “declaring an outbreak” was not “yo, we are telling you that this thing happened” but rather “we declare that we are going to have special rules”. (Sort of like how “declaring a state of emergency” isn’t a way of saying, “yo, something bad happened”, but rather asserting that special rules are about to go into place.)


 +2,032 cases, +2 deaths, +1,704 first doses, +1,176 second doses, +37,336 other doses. NOTE: The press release says 1,975 cases, while the dashboard says 2,032 cases. I’m using 1,975 for now.

Currently 854 in hospital / 112 in ICU, 37,167 active cases, 258,417 recovered.

Positivity of 16.7%.

first dosessecond dosesthird doses
of adults92.8%90.1%36.8%
of over-12s92.4%89.7%34.3%
of over-5s89.3%83.4%*
of all BCers86.8%81.0%31.0%


From this tweet: