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

The Roxy Cafe has extended its patio into its parking spaces in order to keep dining options open during the latest pandemic health restrictions. (Downtown Vernon Association photo)
Consultation curbs downtown Vernon road closure

Closing ‘Main Street’ may not happen this summer

Kelowna Rockets forward Steel Quiring plays the puck against Kamloops Blazers forward Matthew Seminoff at Kelowna’s Prospera Place on Monday, May 11. (Contributed)
Kelowna Rockets burned in 10-2 loss to Kamloop Blazers

The Rockets gave up five power-play goals and were unsuccessful in their two power-play attempts

The administrative headquarters for Central Okanagan Public Schools in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Rutland Elementary

Five other Central Okanagan Schools have been identified as sites of exposure to the virus since April 27

National Police Week runs May 9-15, 2021, and Vernon North Okanagan RCMP will be highlighting some of its great work on its social media platforms to celebrate its relationships with community groups and stakeholders. (Contribtued)
Collaboration crucial in police work: Vernon Mounties

National Police Week is a public awareness campaign encouraging new and strengthened connections

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Sharks have been around longer than trees

Your morning start for Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Members of the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus sing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Vernon choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

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

Cloe Afton Papworth performs before a video camera to make her vocal entry for the First Virtual Shuswap Music Festival, held in April 2021. (R. Papworth photo)
Young Shuswap musicians hit record for virtual festival

Seven Shuswap Music Festival participants to compete at provincial level

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton Search and Rescue had to deploy its helicopter and high angle rescue team to evacuate an injured climber out of Skaha Bluffs Monday. (Mike Biden photo)
Injured climber helicoptered to rescue at Penticton’s Skaha Bluffs

This is the 7th rescue in a week for Penticton’s Search and Rescue

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
B.C. to provide three days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

(Pixabay)
B.C. doctors could face consequences for spreading COVID misinformation: college

College says doctors have a higher level of responsibility to not spread incorrect information

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Most Read