A worker is seen cleaning surfaces inside Little Mountain Place, a long term care home where 41 residents have died since a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the facility in November, in Vancouver, on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A worker is seen cleaning surfaces inside Little Mountain Place, a long term care home where 41 residents have died since a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the facility in November, in Vancouver, on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

COVID death toll in B.C. tops 1,000 as 1,475 new cases recorded over the weekend

B.C. has administered nearly 60,000 vaccines as of Sunday night

B.C. has reported 1,475 new COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths over the weekend, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a press briefing Monday (Jan. 11).

By day, there were 538 cases reported Saturday, 507 cases Sunday, and 430 cases Monday, with nine epi-linked cases. The weekend’s deaths bring the total COVID-19 death toll in B.C. to 1,010.

By region, the three days worth of cases break down to 736 in Fraser Health, 287 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 217 in Interior Health, 59 in Island Health and 173 in Northern Health and three people

There are 5,220 active cases of COVID-19 following the weekend. Currently, there are 358 people in hospital, of whom 72 are in critical care or ICU. There have been a total of 58,107 confirmed cases in B.C. since the pandemic began, of whom 50,551 have recovered. There are currently more than 7,313 people under active public health monitoring, excluding Northern Health due to data compilation issues.

There are 50 active outbreaks at long-term care facilities and 10 in acute care.

Henry said there have been 59,902 doses of both COVID-19 vaccines administered as of Sunday night, mostly of the Pfizer vaccine. She said the Moderna vaccine, which does not require ultra-cold storage, is going to remote areas. In total, B.C. has received 71,200 doses of the two vaccines.

She warned that even though people are being vaccinated, it’s not time to get complacent.

“We expect more vaccines, and more vaccines to be approved for use, by March,” Henry said.

“[But] we do not have enough supply coming between now and the end of march to achieve that community immunity.”

READ MORE: Social gathering, events to remain banned in B.C. as daily COVID-19 cases stay high

Henry, who has previously estimated that herd immunity could begin at 60 per cent of the population vaccinated, said the figure depends on the novel coronavirus’s reproductive number, or how many people each infected individual spreads the virus to.

She said that with COVID, 60-70 per cent immunized should prevent it for most people,” but added that it “will not prevent some of those superspreader events.”

If different variants of the virus become more prevalent, including the faster spreading one first reported in the U.K., Henry said that herd immunity threshold may have to be reevaluated.

Henry also defended the province’s decision to give out the second dose at 35 days after the first, and not either 21 days as initially recommended for the Pfizer vaccine or 28 days with the Moderna vaccine.

“By waiting between doses it allows the body to build up that immunity,” she said, noting that the time period between the two doses allows the body to develop “antigens that attack the proteins, also for the body’s cell-mediated immunity to recognize the offending protein, the virus, as well.”

“We did not take this decision lightly,” she added, noting that scientists have reviewed materials from here in B.C. and around the world. B.C. has been told, she said, that vaccine deliveries will be backloaded – meaning that the rate of delivery will increase as time goes on.

“Based on the data from the clinical trials… shows protection two weeks [after first dose] was 92.6 per cent for Pfizer and 92.1 per cent for Moderna. That is quite frankly amazing.”

The data also shows, Henry noted, that there was no difference shown in immunity when people received their second dose at 19 days for Pfizer, 21 days for Moderna or at 42 days for either vaccine.

READ MORE: Number of Canadian who want COVID vaccine inches country towards herd immunity, poll suggests


@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.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Alexandra “Annabelle” Lee and her grandpa Bryan Weightman enjoyed a shopping spree at the Sicamous Askew’s foods location after Weightman won a draw for a gift card. (Submitted)
Sicamous seven-year-old fills grandparents’ shopping cart after contest win

When her grandparents won an Askew’s Foods gift card, Alexandra Lee got to handle the shopping

Staff at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum and community partners are preparing several interactive contests to help celebrate the 25th annual Heritage Week, Feb. 15 to 21. (Contributed)
Public to play interactive role in Salmon Arm Heritage Week celebration

R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum silent auction to kick off events on Feb. 15

A large portion of Anglemont is without running water due to a water main break on Jan. 26. (CSRD Image)
A large part of Anglemont in the North Shuswap is without water due to a water line break on Jan. 26. (Black Press File Photo)
Broken water main leaves Shuswap community without running water

The water line has left Anglemont residents either without water or with low pressure.

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Kevin Lee Barrett pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of his mother Eleanor Holmes on Tuesday, Jan. 26. (File)
West Kelowna man who beat his mom could be sentenced up to 9 years

Kevin Barrett entered a surprise guilty plea to the lesser charge of aggravated assault on Tuesday morning

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Vernon now has an approved 13 cannabis shops in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon, the ‘Pot capital of B.C.’ greenlights two new stores downtown

Two more shops, within 240 metres, approved, despite neighbouring businesses opposition

11 more cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a cluster on Big White Mountain. Pictured above is TELUS park at Big White Ski Resort, Jan. 26. (Big White Ski Resort)
11 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

This brings the total case count to 225, according to health authorities in a Tuesday update

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Oliver Elementary School
Former Oliver PAC treasurer charged with fraud returns to court

Belinda Yorke will be in court to fix a date for trial in February

Two fibreglass bees were stolen from Vernon’s Planet Bee Honey Farm Nov. 22, 2020. (Facebook)
Stolen bee returned to Vernon honey farm

Two months after thieves buzzed off with two bee sculptures, public tips led police one of them

Most Read