B.C.'s COVID-19 curve is bending upwards

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said modelling is showing the curve bending upwards in B.C. There is the possibility for explosive growth if the public is not careful, though the number of new cases per day is still low.

There has been a concerning increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in B.C., with all health authorities reporting additional numbers in the past 72 hours.

There have been 102 new confirmed cases since Friday — 45 of which are in Interior Health — bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 3,300.

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By health authority, there have been 1,713 cases in Fraser, 1,713 cases in Island, 1,042 cases in Vancouver Coastal, 280 cases in the Interior and 69 cases in Northern. Fifty-four people who reside outside of Canada have tested positive for the virus in B.C.

There are 253 active COVID-19 cases, with 16 people hospitalized, including four patients in intensive care.

To date, 2,858 people have fully recovered.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said a number of the new cases stem from events/parties, such as gatherings in Kelowna between June 25 and July 4. There are now more than 60 COVID-19 cases linked to Kelowna events.

There were no new deaths over the weekend, leaving the number of people who have died from COVID-19 in B.C. at 189.

There are three active outbreaks — one in long-term care and two in hospital acute-care units, affecting 401 residents and 256 residents. There remains one confirmed case at BC Hydro’s Site C project in northeastern B.C.

COVID-19 graphic

Flights involving airports in Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria have had passengers with COVID-19. The BC Centre for Disease Control website at bccdc.ca has specific information on flights affected.

On Monday, Henry reported on statistics to July 9 showing how and where the virus has affected British Columbians. She said that while B.C. has flattened its curve, there’s been a rise in the last week in cases, particularity among young people.

Henry said the province is also seeing the return of test-positive cases having had a large number of contacts. She said at the start of the pandemic, every case had about 11 or 12 other contacts, noting that is evident among cases reported in the last few days.

“We knew that would happen as we moved into this phase of our restart here in B.C.,” Henry said.

The challenge, she said, is that people are not having safe interactions, which is spreading the virus. She noted clusters are occurring among people attending parties in homes and on boats, and in restaurants and pubs, mingling with a number of different groups in the process.

Henry said modelling is showing the curve bending upwards in B.C., noting there is the possibility for explosive growth if the publicis not careful, though the number of new cases per day is still low.

The virus’ reproductive number — the number of new hosts the virus infects who are then able to infect others — has risen above one in June and July, which is concerning, she said. It was under one in April and May.

The stats show 52 per cent of all cases are among women and the median age of people who have contracted COVID-19 is 50. The median age of people who have died from COVID-19 in B.C. is 85.

In total, 528 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19, making up 17 per cent of cases.

Overall, COVID-19 has had a case fatality rate of about six per cent, but that number jumps to about 20 per cent amongst cases in long-term and acute care.

Henry said less than 1 in 100 people in B.C. have been infected with COVID-19 as of May, noting that is a sign precautions the province has taken are working and preventing people from getting sick — and need to be taken into consideration with B.C.’s economy restarting.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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