COVID-19 outbreak declared at another B.C. care home where more than 80% of residents were vaccinated
Health Minister Adrian Dix says first dose of vaccine needs 21 days to be effective
B.C. health officials have announced a new outbreak of COVID-19 at a long-term care facility in Surrey where 88 per cent of residents had been vaccinated.
One resident and one staff member have tested positive at Fleetwood Place, which is a privately owned and operated long-term care home in the Fraser Health region. One positive case is enough for health authorities to declare an outbreak in high-risk settings like care homes.
According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's immunization report, 88 per cent of residents at the home had been vaccinated as of Feb. 15.
On Sunday, an outbreak was declared at the Cottonwoods long-term care home in Kelowna where the BCCDC reported 82 per cent of residents had been immunized.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry spoke about the Cottonwoods outbreak Monday and said transmission is possible even when people are fully vaccinated, but the illness seems to be milder and less contagious.
Health Minister Adrian Dix, speaking Wednesday on CBC's The Early Edition, said people need to remember the first dose of the vaccine does not start working right away.
"The really important point for everyone who's immunized out there is it takes some period, really 21 days, for the vaccine to take effect," said Dix.
The minister said since immunization of long-term care residents and staff was completed, the number of outbreaks in long-term facilities has fallen to five from 42.
"But the fact is immunization doesn't eliminate all cases. When we talk about vaccines that are 92 per cent effective, 92 per cent is not 100 per cent," said Dix.
In a written update Tuesday, B.C. health officials also reported 550 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths.
Henry and Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 249 people, 68 of whom are in intensive care.
A total of 1,393 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, out of 85,119 confirmed cases.
"Today marks a sombre milestone: one year since the first person in British Columbia died as a result of COVID-19," said Henry and Dix in a written statement. "Today, we pause and remember everyone who has died from this virus and offer our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones."
There are currently 4,869 active cases of coronavirus in the province, and public health is monitoring 8,971 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation because of COVID-19 exposure. A total of 78,770 people who tested positive have recovered.
Health authorities also announced 182 new cases have been identified as variants of concern, for a total of 576 cases with variants.
So far, 343,381 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 86,938 second doses.
Monday with vaccines rolling out, Henry signalled a potential loosening of some restrictions, even as the province announced an average of 487 new daily cases of COVID-19 over three days.
Nearly 15,000 vaccine appointments were booked for seniors across British Columbia Monday as the province opened the next phase of its immunization rollout plan.
However, only 369 bookings were made in Vancouver Coastal, and officials pledged to work with that health authority to get those bookings "back on track."
CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to put your COVID-19 vaccine questions to expert guests, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: email@example.com
With files from The Early Edition