After two straight weeks that saw COVID-19 cases in Delta skyrocket, this week’s numbers have shown a slight drop off in cases.
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) latest community map of cases, covering the period of Jan. 2 to 8, Delta had 438 cases. That is a drop compared to 769 cases for the reporting period of Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 and 433 cases for the period of Dec. 19 to 25.
In looking at neighbouring communities for the period of Jan. 2 to 8, Surrey had 2,960 cases, South Surrey/White Rock had 429 cases and Richmond had 514 cases.
This week, the BCCDC also released cumulative cases totals for the period of January 2020 to December 2021. During that period, Delta had a total of 6,937 cases.
In neighbouring communities, Surrey had 46,478 cases, South Surrey/White Rock 4,857 cases and Richmond had 6,193 cases.
As for vaccine rates, Delta residents continue to have high numbers in the Fraser Health Authority with 96 per cent receiving a first dose, 94 per cent a second dose and 29 per cent a third dose. These numbers are as of Jan. 11.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations in B.C. on Wednesday surged to 500 – the highest count since April 30.
The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals is a key indicator of how bad the current fifth wave of the disease is getting in B.C. because data for case counts and active infections is seen by even health officials as unreliable.
Of the 500 COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals, 102 are in intensive care units (ICUs). There have not been that many people in B.C. ICUs since November.
Six new COVID-19 deaths in the past day raise the province's pandemic death toll to 2,455.
Earlier this week, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix provided data to show that B.C. hospitals are not yet overwhelmed. Of B.C.'s total 11,582 acute-care hospital beds, 9,401, or nearly 81.2%, were filled, he said. B.C. has a total of 728 ICU beds, of which 464, or 63.7%, were filled, he added.
Dix said that the government was looking into potentially creating a field hospital at the Vancouver Convention Centre in space now being used to provide booster doses of vaccine. He stressed, however, that this planning was in the early stages and that there was no definitive plan to create that hospital.
He and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have been telling vaccinated people who have mild symptoms to self-isolate and not burden the province's testing centres, which were overwhelmed and at capacity during the holiday season. That means that despite officials asking sick individuals to alert government of their diseases, many infections are likely going unreported.
Henry has, however, said that knowing the trend and trajectory of new and active cases remains valuable information.
-with files from Glacier Media