BY PAMELA FAYERMAN
It had been many months since the B.C government had reported the number of COVID-19 cases among B.C, healthcare workers (HCW) when I asked for an update recently.
This is not information that is routinely shared by the B.C. government; indeed, it’s available only after journalists ask for it. The latest information posted here is current as of October 28 and shows that since the pandemic began, about 11,000 healthcare workers have been infected. And if you scroll through the tables below, you will see that every category of healthcare worker appears to have been affected, contracting COVID in the workplace or somewhere else. (It must be stated that it is often hard to know the true source of transmission.)
There are about 126,400 healthcare workers in B.C. so 11,000 cases in the sector would imply that nearly 9% of all healthcare workers in the province have contracted COVID.
In the latest case I learned about today, a nurse who does not work directly with patients reported on Twitter that her husband went to Las Vegas recently and apparently brought COVID home, infecting her as well. They are both fully vaccinated and thus far have symptoms like loss of smell and taste, along with symptoms often seen with severe colds and influenza.
The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions recently posted a list of 55 health care workers who have died of COVID across Canada. The list comprises only those who worked in healthcare facilities. Two of the 55 were from B.C. – Dr. Denis Vincent, a 62-year old dentist from North Vancouver, and Diana Law, a 57-year old nurse who worked at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock.
When various nursing categories are combined – registered, licensed practical, nurse practitioners and nursing assistants, the category accounts for the greatest chunk of cases – nearly 2,300. Care aides have also been deeply affected, accounting for about 20% of all cases.
Dentists and physicians are essentially tied, each accounting for about 3% of all cases since the pandemic began.
The data provided here shows that healthcare workers account for 5.4% of B.C. COVID cases up to October 28 when there had been 203,315 confirmed cases in total. As of now, there have been a total of about 215,000 cases in B.C.
I’ve posted many articles about COVID in healthcare workers. Click here to see an index of them.