2022-11-18 BC small


From Jeff’s spreadsheet using MetroVan data:

The percent of people in BC vaccinated by age for 1, 2, 3, and 4 doses, from the federal vaccine page:


While the US and Canada Back East is legit getting walloped by respiratory illnesses, BC has not really gotten hit… yet.

Anecdata: I live on an ambulance route, not far from St. Paul’s Hospital. While I don’t count sirens, I have an awareness of when activity is high. (During the heat dome, I noticed a lot of sirens.) Activity has felt on the low side recently. Last Saturday, I happened to walk past the St. Paul’s ambulance bay at about 3:30 PM, and there were four ambulances hanging out waiting. I talked to one of the paramedics, who said:

  • They are busy (mostly due to staffing issues!) but not overwhelmed at the moment.
  • BC respiratory season tends to be later than Back East because our winter hits later. As evidence, he mentioned that paramedics here aren’t required to get their flu shot until 1 December.
  • They are very worried about what might happen in coming months.
  • Vancouver’s populace is generally healthier than most cities’ populace, being more physically active. (I was surprised momentarily, before I remembered that I was in the middle of a totally discretionary 5km walk.)

I walked past St. Paul’s again at about 5 PM, and there were five ambulances in the (5-parking-spot) bay, hanging out.


Wait time at BC Children’s hospital right now, at 12:45 PM on 18 Nov, is 2.5 hours. That’s obviously not fantastic, but it sure doesn’t look like “overwhelmed”. (I watch the ED rates, and 2.5 hrs is actually a bit low; it seems to more normally between 5 and 8 hours. While I’m happy to believe that it occasionally spikes to higher, I haven’t seen it. Caveat: I look less often in the evenings than during day and late at night.)

Addendum: Friday night/Saturday morning at 1:30AM, the wait at Children’s was just under nine hours. Saturday evening at 5:30PM, the wait was 4.5 hours.

From the BC CDC Pathogen Characterization page:

RSV positivity in kids has gone up, but not as excitingly as influenza, and the absolute values are still pretty low — 35 on 6 Nov 2022 vs. 100 on 7 Nov last year.

The enterovirus/rhinovirus positivity has actually dropped a lot recently (probably because testing has gone way up, which I am guessing is because they started looking for flu?). Still, there are on 48 cases now vs. 70 a year ago.

Now, it is possible that the province is lying has inaccurate data about the levels of infection and wait times. I sure hope not.


From the BC CDC Pathogen Characterization page again, the absolute number of flu cases in BC is still low, but the positivity is rising really fast. (Note that the obvious purple bars are the number of tests. The number of cases is the dark purple that you can barely see.)

RSV positivity is also going up fast, although the absolute numbers are still small (80 this year vs. 376 this time last year):

The crown for high positivity, however, is what I think of as the “common cold” bucket:

Here’s everything (except COVID-19) all together:

Other places

Other places are legit having a beastly time. Alberta is having an incredible number of cases:

Positivity in the US Northwest has gone up slightly (the line, not the bars), but it’s not accelerating:

Categorized as BC