B.C.’s total COVID-19 data for a year of the pandemic and emergency measures. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C.’s total COVID-19 data for a year of the pandemic and emergency measures. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)

B.C.’s year of COVID-19: infections creep up, senior homes protected

Eighth-largest cause of death, behind cancer, heart disease, overdoses

The encouraging news in B.C.’s public health report on one year of the COVID-19 pandemic is that vaccinated seniors are significantly protected, children have had few severe illnesses, and B.C. maintained a lower infection rate than other large provinces while keeping schools and many businesses open.

The troubling signs include high infection rate in B.C.’s northwest, with mass vaccination of Prince Rupert, Port Edward and Haida Gwaii targeted for completion by April. And as provincial health officials work out which essential employee groups get priority for AstraZeneca vaccine in addition to the age-based mass immunization program, overall case numbers have started to climb, particularly variant strains.

RELATED: Prince Rupert, Port Edward prioritized for vaccine

RELATED: Vaccine reaches most B.C. Indigenous communities

Premier John Horgan and other party leaders marked the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global pandemic in the legislature, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released the latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control modelling data Thursday.

“We have been on a steadily downward trajectory until about the middle of February,” Henry said March 11, with cases starting back up but the crucial hospitalization and death rates continuing to decline.

The data set confirms that vaccination of senior home staff and residents has dropped the infection rate in both groups to a low level.

B.C.’s cases of “variants of concern” have risen but are still below 10 per cent of new cases, compared to the 40 per cent just reported in Ontario, Henry said.

B.C.’s success in limiting serious illness and death from the novel coronavirus is reflected in cause-of-death statistics for 2020. COVID-19 ranks eighth, with the top four remaining cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In fifth place is illicit drug overdoses, followed by lower-respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, COVID-19, influenza and pneumonia, accidents, liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, hypertension and suicide.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Flights are to resume to Prince Rupert and Sandspit airports under an Air Canada and federal government $5.9 billion agreement that was reached on April 12. A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
$5.879 billion agreement between Air Canada and Fed’s will assist YPR in re-opening

Prince Rupert Regional Airport to reopen flights by June 1st, if not earlier

BC Housing townhouses on Kootenay Ave. were demolished during March to make way for new affordable residential units by Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Despite a recent reduction in units project will still be able to house many

Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society says 60 units is still the plan

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Prince Rupert City Council approved the purchase of computer chipped recycling bins on April 12. A Penticton garbage truck lifts a new bin. (Western News photo)
Big Brother to help with the garbage – computer chipped recycling bins report your bylaw infractions

They report, but will they sort — recycle bins to cost Prince Rupert $564,850

Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal celebrated the opening of operations on April 12 in a virtual online ceremony with President and CEO Mick Dilger and Manager of Communications and Media Affair Tasha Cadotte commemorating the ribbon-cutting. (Photo: Supplied)
Pembina celebrates opening of operations in Prince Rupert

A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorates LPG export facility on Watson Island

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
VIDEO: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Most Read