COVID-19 update for Feb. 2: Here’s the latest on coronavirus in B.C.

Linda Rider

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Feb. 2, 2022.


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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.


As of the latest figures given on Feb. 2:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 327,625 (25,959 active)
• New cases: 1,236
• Total deaths: 2,643 (18 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 988
• Intensive care: 136
• Total vaccinations: 4,483,908 received first dose (90% of eligible pop. 5+); 4,191,486 second doses (84.1%); 2,176,872 third doses (50.3% of adults)
• Recovered from acute infection: 293,488
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 54


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IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


• COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

• COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

• COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


Number of people in hospital falls as 18 people die

Latest health data shows that 279 people were admitted to hospital over the past day either because of COVID-19, or for other reasons but they tested positive upon arrival.

According to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry around 40 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in hospital are there because of the disease.


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There are now 988 people in total in hospital that have COVID-19. There are 136 people who are seriously sick with the disease and being treated in intensive care.

There were 1,776 cases reported over the past day and 25,959 active cases. Both these numbers are understated by a factor of four due to limited PCR testing.

Eighteen people died because of COVID-19 over the past day, with that total now at 2,643.

More provinces preparing to loosen COVID-19 restrictions in coming weeks

More provinces are loosening COVID-19 restrictions as hospitalizations in some parts of the country appear to plateau, but health officials caution that eased measures could lead to increased infections in the coming weeks.

“We really certainly hope that we will not have to get back (to restrictions) in any way, but there’s a risk,” said Dr. Luc Boileau, Quebec’s interim director of public health.


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COVID-19 hospitalizations in Quebec dropped Wednesday by 122 to 2,730, and the number of people in intensive care decreased by 14 to 204.

Quebec released modelling that showed the decrease may not last long. Boileau said the number of infections, and ultimately hospitalizations, is likely to rise again with children going back to school and the softening of health measures.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the daily number of people with COVID-19 in hospitals is dipping slightly at the national level. But, she added, it remains high and is still rising in some jurisdictions.

“Where some public health measures are easing, layers of personal protective practices remain crucial for reducing spread and preventing resurgence,” she said in a social media post.


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Alberta and Saskatchewan reported record numbers of people in hospital with COVID-19 this week as both provinces announced plans to remove vaccine passport requirements by the end of the month.

Read the full story here.

— Canadian Press

Lockdowns only reduced COVID deaths by 0.2 per cent, Johns Hopkins study finds

A new study out of Johns Hopkins University is claiming that worldwide pandemic lockdowns only prevented 0.2 per cent of COVID-19 deaths and were “not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic.”

“We find no evidence that lockdowns, school closures, border closures, and limiting gatherings have had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality,” reads the paper, which is based on a review of 34 pre-existing COVID-19 studies.


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Given the “devastating effects” that lockdowns have caused, the authors recommended they be “rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.”

In both Europe and the United States, researchers found that a lockdown could only be expected to bring down mortality rates by 0.2 per cent “as compared to a COVID-19 policy based solely on recommendations.” For context, 0.2 per cent of total Canadian COVID-19 fatalities thus far is equal to about 70 people.

The impact of border closures was found to be even less effective, with death rates only going down about 0.1 per cent.

Read the full story here.

— Tristin Hopper, National Post

Seniors advocate welcomes new long term care rules, but outbreak murkiness presents ‘risk’

Every long term care resident in B.C. can now choose a designated visitor who will be granted unlimited visits even if an outbreak is declared in the facility.


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Provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, Tuesday said this effort is in “adjusting our outbreak management approach in long term care.”

“We are acutely aware of the impact of the extended social isolation that comes with the full closures of long term care homes,” said Henry. “And we’ve been trying to find the balance between limiting the risks to residents in long term care, minimizing transmission of the virus as well as having that all-important contact with loved ones.”

B.C.’s seniors advocate and families of long term care residents have been calling for that change for close to a year.

Read full story here.

—Lisa Cordasco

These doctors and COVID-19 experts are pushing for quicker return to pre-pandemic normal

It’s been a tough two years in the intensive care unit of Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng’s Ottawa hospital.


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The hours have been horrendous and burnout among staff widespread, not least due to a unique characteristic of the COVID-19 sufferers who have flooded the ward.

While the typical ICU patient is unconscious for much of his or her stay, those with COVID often arrive awake and can chat with the doctors and nurses, which makes it all the harder when some grow desperately ill and succumb to the virus, said Kyeremanteng, the unit’s head.

“You could have a conversation with them, they’re relatable,” he said. “That was a very under-recognized source of stress.”

But despite the pressures of grappling head-on with the world’s worst public-health crisis in generations, Kyeremanteng has a perhaps surprising take on the pandemic and its impact.


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As some of his colleagues balk at any easing yet of public-health restrictions, the critical-care specialist is pushing for schools to move more quickly toward open, pre-pandemic norms, and questions the need for some of the other limits still in place.

Read the full story here.

—Tom Blackwell

COVID-19 vaccine for toddlers in B.C. will not happen in the short term, says provincial health officer

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says a COVID-19 vaccine for infants and toddlers will not arrive in B.C. in the short term.

Henry was reacting to news that Pfizer had been asked by U.S. health regulators to accelerate its application for emergency approval of a vaccine that could be used in people aged six months to four years.


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At the moment, vaccines are approved for use in Canada and the U.S. for anyone aged five and up.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Pfizer said it had begun submitting data to U.S. regulators including the Food and Drug Administration for authorization of its vaccine for children under five. This was done at the request of the FDA.

A panel of outside advisers is scheduled to meet Feb. 15 to consider the request, with the agency stating it wants a vaccine available for this age group as a matter of priority.

B.C. registers nine deaths over past day

The B.C. Ministry of Health is reporting nine new COVID-19 deaths over the past day, bringing that total to 2,625. There were 1,236 new cases reported, and 28,302 active cases of the disease in B.C. — both these numbers are underestimates due to limited PCR testing being done.


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Interior Health is now accounting for more cases than any other health authority, despite it being smaller than Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health. According to the  ministry, there were 406 new cases reported in Interior Health compared to 253 in Fraser Health and 212 in Vancouver Coastal Health.

There are now 55 active outbreaks in health-care facilities, mostly in long-term care homes.




LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press



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