Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Jan. 23 to 24, 2021.
We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.
Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.
B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS
As of the latest figures given on Jan. 22:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 63,484 (4,479 active)
• New cases since Jan. 21: 508
• Total deaths: 1,128 (nine new)
• Hospitalized cases: 315
• Intensive care: 74
• Total vaccinations: 110,566
• Cases under public health monitoring: 6,719
• Recovered: 56,455
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 47
Health officials have declared three COVID-19 outbreaks at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver and one at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.
Providence Health Care said the three outbreaks are in separate units at St. Paul’s Hospital, and are not considered related.
The outbreaks are in 7C General Medicine, 6B Renal, and one in the Heart Centre.
Providence says only rooms 5A, 5B at the Heart Centre are not accepting new patients or transfers because of the outbreak, but all other areas of the Heart Centre are open.
St. Paul’s Hospital remains open and is receiving patients who require urgent and emergent care. At this time, there is no impact on other areas of the hospital, say health officials.
7 a.m. – Deaths in long-term care reveal need for home supports: advocates
The devastating toll of COVID-19 on long-term care residents in Canada has underscored the need for increased public funding for home care, advocates say.
Most seniors want to stay at home for as long as possible, and their families want to support them to do so, but the cost and limited availability of home care forces many to “give up” and place their loved ones in long-term care, said Sue VanderBent, CEO of Home Care Ontario.
The Canadian Institute of Health Information estimates one in nine newly admitted long-term care residents could have remained at home with proper supports — a figure that is especially alarming in light of how the novel coronavirus has ravaged these facilities.
“This pandemic has scarred all of us. This is burned into our memories now, so planning for the future becomes even more important,” said VanderBent.
“People will demand that they have the supports to stay at home and receive care at home and end their life at home, because it’s just too scary now.”
The tragedy unfolding in long-term care homes across the country has shed new light on persistent problems in the elder-care system. Residents of these facilities account for 10 per cent of COVID-19 cases and 72 per cent of deaths in Canada.
But a major piece of the system is home care and it is often ignored, said VanderBent, whose organization represents home care providers in Ontario.
“We’re probably the same as any other province in that the home care system itself is generally an afterthought. It is not generally funded in a way that contributes to a robust system.”
Ontario has a roughly $63-billion health-care budget, of which about $3 billion is spent on home care, she said.
The lack of funding means that home care workers make about $4 less an hour than those who work in long-term care, making it hard to retain staff, VanderBent said.
— The Canadian Press
12 a.m. – Outbreak at jail, three health facilities in Fraser Health
Fraser Health has declared four new COVID-19 outbreaks, including at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre, where 20 people in custody have tested positive.
There are also new outbreaks at a unit in Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, the rehab unit at Queen’s Park Care Centre, also in New West, and the Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre.