What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Jan. 26

·4 min read

THE LATEST:

  • B.C. recorded 407 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 deaths on Tuesday.

  • There are currently 4,260 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C.

  • 313 people are in hospital, with 71 in the ICU.

  • B.C. has detected six cases of the variant from the U.K. and three cases from South Africa.

  • The province will not be receiving new doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines next week.

  • Second doses of the vaccine will now be administered 42 days after the first, instead of 35, in order to vaccinate as many vulnerable people as possible.

  • 122,359 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 4,105 of which are second doses.

B.C. health officials announced 407 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 more deaths on Tuesday.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 313 people, 71 of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 1,168 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

There are currently 4,260 active cases of coronavirus in the province, with public health monitoring 6,450 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. More than 58,352 people who tested positive have recovered.

So far, 122,359 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 4,105 of which are second doses.

Henry said that over the weekend the province received further updates on future shipments of vaccinations — and that B.C. will not be receiving new doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines over the next two weeks.

As a result of the shortage, second doses of the vaccine will be delayed to Day 42, rather than 35 in order to provide protection to a greater number of people.

"We know the federal government is doing as much as possible to obtain vaccine ... We have little vaccine, and we need to target it where it will do the most good," she said.

Variants 'very concerning'

In a Friday press release, health authorities quietly updated the number of variant cases of coronavirus detected in the province, confirming six cases of the variant first reported in the U.K. and three cases of the variant from South Africa.

Henry said all cases of the variant from the U.K. are travel-related, but none of the variants first detected in South Africa have been linked to travel.

"I'm very concerned. I'm concerned that if those variants start to spread, it's just going to make our job that much more difficult," said Henry.

Long-term care report

On Monday the province released a report on the impact of COVID-19 on B.C.'s long term care homes, which called for greater government oversight of a sector that contains both privately run businesses and homes operated by health authorities.

The firm Ernst & Young was hired to put the report together in the summer of 2020.

The report found that policy directives could be "confusing, inconsistent, or lacking in detail" and that a "lack of clarity on oversight and access to supplies in unique circumstances" left private operators scrambling to find the personal protective equipment that was in low supply at the start if the pandemic.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday that the report was not released earlier because people working in the area of expertise are "working their guts out." He said he only learned about the report 10 days ago, but took responsibility for the delayed release.

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What's happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 10 p.m. PT on Monday, Canada had reported 757,448 cases of COVID-19, and 19,238 total deaths.

A total of 62,447 cases are considered active.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.

  • Cough.

  • Tiredness.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Loss of taste or smell.

  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.

  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.