This article reports that a BC judge ordered that a child of divorced parents be vaccinated. (One parent wanted vax and the other did not.)
This briefing was reeeally dull.
DrH opened with, no shit, a retrospective of the pandemic. I guess it was good for reminding us of what obstacles we faced that we no longer face, like shortages of PPE, no approved vax for anybody, short vax supply, no approved vax for teens, no vax approved for kidlets, no rapid tests, etc.
- There are 670K people over 18 who have been invited for a booster but not booked. That’s a lot of people!
- We have passed the 50% vax mark for kidlets. Yay!
- Yesterday there were 9231 patients in hospital, compared to 9229 base beds and 2353 surge beds (so two over, but reminder that occupancy is usually over 100% because some patients stay less than a day). There were 734 ICU patients, compared to 510 base ICU beds and 218 surge ICU beds (so four under!).
- He made vague promises about strengthening the health care system when this is all over.
Reminder: I paraphrase the Q&A heavily and snarkily.
Q: DrH, you said you thought things might change by Family Day on 21 Feb. What kinds of change? A: I hope we will be able to lift some restrictions. Family Day would be a nice time to be able to be more social.
Q: We’re behind on kidlet vaccinations, what can we do to boost kidlet vax? A: We are doing stuff — working with hospitals, working with doctors, working with schools. Also note that the 18-29 cohort totally rocks, they’ve been vaxxing like champs. Go get a booster, it will help in our next wave.
Q: Some districts have gotten their RATs and some haven’t. Are more coming? A: Yes. And hopefully we’ll have enough soon that we can distribute them to parents as well. (See below for RAT numbers.)
Q: You said you’d give more money for ventilation/filtering improvements in schools, whatup? A: Uh, that’s a Ministry of Education question, not a Ministry of Health question.
Q: Are you going to give boosters to the teens now? A: We are working on our plan. I expect it will be final enough for me to talk about on Tuesday.
Q: What do you say to immunocompromised who can’t just “live with” the virus? A: The more people get vaccinated, the less virus circulates, so the safer it is for the vulnerable. Yeah, it sucks to be vulnerable, the vulnerable are going to have to take additional precautions to protect themselves. Right now, everybody still needs to get their shots, wear a mask, and keep their groups small.
Q: We’ve had a lot of death recently. Who is dying? A: About 40% of it is people in nursing homes. Most of the rest are seniors living in the community who have underlying illnesses, a high proportion aren’t vaccinated. This week we also had two people under 40 die. Young people who die tend to be unvaccinated. We are seeing mild illnesses in LTCH, but remember that we count everybody who dies within 30 days of a COVID-19 test as dying from COVID-19.
Q: Yet another family clinic closed in Victoria, what are you going to do about the shortage of family doctors? A: (Dix) We have been working on a transformation to team-based care since 2017, and we’ve opened two dozen urgent/primary care centres and hired 800 additional staff.
Q: Has the definition of “outbreak” in LTCH changed? What is it now? A: Right now, it’s up to the discretion of the local medical care officer in every home, but the pub health definition of “outbreak” is “higher than expected”. We used to have a really low threshold, but we changed it because Omicron plus boosters means milder cases. We’re going to come up with written guidelines soon, but it’s done on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Are LTCH “outbreaks” consistent across Health Authorities? A: The guidance is consistent, but it’s based on clinical judgement.
Q: Are you going to restrict visitors in LTCH? A: No.
Q: <somewhat garbled question> What do you say to gay people who are having trouble accessing HIV blood tests and HPV vaccines? A: I didn’t know that was a problem. I’ll go talk to my colleagues. Thank you for bringing that up.
Q: It’s been two years, what do you wish you had done differently. A: Hindsight is 20/20, but you have to make decisions with the data you have available at the time. I think for me the hardest thing has been communicating effectively when things change as to why the change needs to happen.
Q: Why are you letting the youth play in sports tournaments but not adults? A: You’re only a kid once. (<- heavily paraphrased) Note that because of staff shortages, it’s up to the school district to decide if they actually want to put on competitions.
Rapid Antigen Test numbers:
- ~7.5M received as of yesterday, about 600K of which arrived in the last few days.
- ~5.7M already deployed.
- Current inventory is about ~1.8M, 556K of which are not suitable for takeaway use.
- Expecting 10.5 RATs to arrive between now and mid-February.
- This week, they expect to deploy ~1.7M kits as follows:
- 351K to test sites
- 250K to acute care sites (which I think means hospitals)
- 260K to LTCH/assisted living to test visitors and symptomatic staff
- 130K to rural and indigenous communities
- 335K to businesses I think this is like meat packing plants
- 300K to education
- 250K to childcare
+1,634 cases, +9 deaths, +1,713 first doses, +1,930 second doses, +40,169 other doses.
Currently 990 in hospital / 141 in ICU, 30,012 active cases, 286,134 recovered.
|first doses||second doses||third doses|
|of all BCers||87.3%||81.4%||39.9%|
Vaccine takeup by age in BC over time, from the federal vaccine page:
Combined vax rates, from the slide deck used in today’s press briefing: