VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – B.C. has marked a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, recording more than a 1,000 deaths related to the virus.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced on Monday that 22 people had died since Friday, bringing the provincial total to 1,010.
“These, of course, are our grandparents, our friends, our aunts, our uncles, our sons and daughters. To the families, care providers, and communities across British Columbia: we know that this has been a most challenging time. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you all,” Henry said.
BC's #covid19 update Jan 11
22 deaths- 1010
Monitor(8755) 7313 inclnorth)
2033 active cases – 1364 residents, 669 staff
(had been 2333 total, 1501 residents)#bcpoli @NEWS1130
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) January 11, 2021
B.C. recorded 1,475 new cases over the past three days, with the majority being in the Fraser Health region at 736.
There have been nine epidemiologically linked cases recorded over the same time frame.
“We currently have 5,220 active cases in all health authorities in British Columbia, of whom 358 are in hospital currently, 72 of whom are in critical care or ICU,” Henry said, adding 50,541 people have recovered from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.
Outbreaks declared over
Henry noted six new healthcare outbreaks have been reported in recent days, including at Avalon Gardens, The Gatehouse group home, the Guildford Seniors Village, Hart House long-term care, KinVillage West Court, and Suncreek Village. Four outbreaks have been declared over at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital, Baillie House, Chartwell Langley Gardens, and Lakeshore Care Centre.
“We know how challenging those outbreaks have been in all three of those long-term care homes where we’ve had numbers of people, our seniors, who have died from the virus in those outbreaks. It’s always challenging,” she said.
In total, there are 50 active outbreaks in the long-term care and assisted living sectors in B.C.
As of Sunday, B.C. had delivered 59,902 COVID-19 vaccines to people in this province.
Henry said the vaccine approach B.C. is taking is based on the supply that is available. It prioritizes those who are at higher risk of severe illness or those who are at a higher risk of catching or spreading the virus, such as health-care workers.
“And this has been the approach that we’ve been taking, recognizing that we have a limited amount of vaccine that is coming between now and the end of March. Everybody is important in British Columbia, and everyone who is wanting the vaccine and is able to receive the vaccine will have access to it. But, we know that some people are at higher risk and that is why they are getting immunized first,” she explained, adding there is not enough supply coming between now and the end of March “to achieve that community immunity that protects us all.”
Q Herd immunity what does it take? DBH has says 60-70, Fauci has said 80%ish
DBH – have been working on this with modelers – looking at R number. Says measles R is 13+, this is 2-ish. So 60-70 will prevent spread to most people but…
#bcpoli @NEWS1130 #covid19
— LizaYuzda (@LizaYuzda) January 11, 2021
Henry also took the opportunity on Monday to defend the province’s move to start giving the second doses of COVID-19 vaccines at day 35.
She said the decision was a “science-based approach” and “takes into account the limited vaccine we have early on in the program here in the province.”
“As we know, when someone receives the vaccine, it stimulates our own body’s immune system to produce antibodies to that antigen, that protein, and these new vaccines that we have — messenger RNA vaccines — have proven to be very effective at doing that. When you provide the second dose, that’s what we call priming the immune system with the first dose. The second dose in a two-dose series like this is to provide more durable and longer-lasting, for a longer period of time, immunity. That’s what we call a boost, and we call this a prime boost,” Henry explained.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry repeats not enough stock is available to immunize all frontline workers by April.
She also defends delivery of 2nd dose 35 days after 1st dose “to build up immunity” and right now, focus is vaccinating highest risk groups. @NEWS1130
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) January 11, 2021
She noted waiting in between doses gives the body time to build up that immunity.