A pedestrian wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses an umbrella as snow falls in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A pedestrian wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 uses an umbrella as snow falls in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records 26 deaths over Family Day weekend; top doctor says vaccine delivery ramping up

Daily cases stayed below 500 for each day of the long weekend

B.C. recorded 1,533 new cases of COVID-19, and 26 deaths, over the Family Day long weekend, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a press conference Tuesday (Feb. 16).

By day, the breaks down to 452 cases recorded Saturday, 431 cases reported Sunday, 348 cases on Monday, 302 on Tuesday and six epi-linked cases. There are a total of 4189 active cases currently, with 7,136 people under public health monitoring.

By region, the four-day total breaks down to 392 cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 856 cases in Fraser Health, 92 cases in Interior Health, 58 cases in Island Health and 135 cases in Northern Health.

There have been a total of 74,283 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, as much of the province has spent months under heavy gathering restrictions. There are 231 people in hospital at the moment, 74 of whom are in intensive care or ICU. B.C.’s death toll from the coronavirus has reached 1,314.

There have been three new outbreaks in health-care facilities, and three that have ended. In total, there are 15 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities involving 561 residents and 349 staff, along with six in acute care. There have been two outbreaks in at schools and childcare centres; at Timothy Christian School in Chilliwack and the SFU Childcare Society.

Henry said that the deaths in long-term care stem from outbreaks that began prior to vaccination, or that residents or staff were infected right after their first dose, before the immune response and associated protection from COVID kicked in.

Henry said that there have been 171,755 doses of the COVID vaccine administered, of which 22,914 have been second doses. While B.C. has had few new doses of either approved COVID vaccines in recent weeks, Henry said that supply is ramping up and this week’s deliveries have already begun to show up.

But Health Minister Adrian Dix noted that the vaccination effort is not nearly far enough along for people to slow down on COVID safety measures.

“By April 1 about 10 per cent of the (B.C.) population will be immunized,” he said.

Henry said the B.C. health officials looked at data this weekend from other countries and at information from Quebec, which has delayed its second dose by months, to learn about the effects of delaying the second dose. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses.

“This delay of several weeks between the first dose… and the second dose… does not have a negative impact on vaccine effectiveness,” Henry said.

“We know we have a buffer where we can safely delay the second dose.”

Henry said that most people who received the Pfizer shot will get their second one within a 42-day window, but those who got the Moderna shot may have to wait longer due to the intervals between shipments. Overall, 4000-6000 people will get their second shot outside of the 42 day window.

However, there have also been more variants of concern detected in B.C. There have been 40 cases found of the U.K. B117 variant, 19 cases of the B1351 South African variant and one of the B1525 Nigerian variant.

Henry reminded British Columbians that while cases have gone down from their high late last year, the situation can change quickly. In the past week, Henry said, the reproductive number (how many people each positive case spreads the virus to) has risen above one.

“The precautions we take today will have an impact two weeks from now,” she said. “Now is not the time to increase our social interactions, now is not the time to increase our events.”

READ MORE: ‘Their voice really matters’: Survey asks for input from B.C. youth on COVID’s effects

READ MORE: 12% of COVID-19 rule breakers in B.C. have paid their fines


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvideo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

Arzeena Hamir, working her booth at the Comox Valley Farmers Market. LUSH Valley was recognized last month as a partner of the year by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. Photo by Bill Jorgensen
LUSH Valley recognized for collaboration with Comox Valley Farmers’ Market

They won Partner of the Year award by the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets

Chelsea Harry was last seen Feb. 21. Photo via Comox Valley RCMP
Comox Valley RCMP seeking help locating a missing woman

Missing person last seen in Courtenay on Feb. 21

A Coast Range Cannabis store has been approved for the Crown Isle Shopping Centre in Courtenay. Photo submitted
Courtenay council approves seventh cannabis retailer

Coast Range Cannabis to open second store in the Comox Valley

A map of the Village Forest Lands near Cumberland. Image, Village of Cumberland
Cumberland adopts forest management direction statement

Less detailed than full plan, documents sets out decision-making for village-owned land

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read