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Coronavirus: B.C. is trending towards massive growth of new cases in September

B.C. government releases latest coronavirus modelling data
B.C. government releases latest coronavirus modelling data

New data presented by the provincial government shows if British Columbia continues its current trend there will be more new cases of COVID-19 than during the virus’s current peak.

The province’s modelling shows cases will continue to rise through August and into September if British Columbians don’t change their behaviour.

B.C. increasingly alarmed as COVID-19 cases resurge
B.C. increasingly alarmed as COVID-19 cases resurge

The data shows a current trend of an average of around 75 new cases a day into September. If contact rates move from 70 per cent of normal, which is close to current levels, to 80 per cent, cases will surge to more than 100 a day.

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The biggest concern for the province continues to be indoor private parties and gatherings where people who don’t know each other are gathering.

B.C. government releases latest coronavirus modelling data
B.C. government releases latest coronavirus modelling data

“There’s some people out there who are trying to skirt the rules. They’re trying to find ways to get around things and hide things and we are trying to find them,” Provincial Health Office Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

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“We are appealing to those people who know these are happening, where we know about them, they are being shut down.”

What is different now compared to the spring is who is getting the virus. Those aged 20 to 40 make up the majority of COVID-19 cases but are hospitalized at a much lower rate than those over the age of 60.

Province considers stepping up COVID-19 enforcement
Province considers stepping up COVID-19 enforcement

Read more: B.C. records 85 new coronavirus cases, its third-highest ever single-day total

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Fewer than five per cent of hospitalizations are made up of those aged 20 to 29 compared to those aged 70 to 79, who make up more than 30 per cent of COVID-19 patients in hospital.

In total, 57 people in B.C. under the age of 40 have been hospitalized, of which just three are under the age of 20. The big concern from Henry is the more cases there are, the higher likelihood a younger person could infect an older, more vulnerable person.

“As we have more transmission, more exposure events, the probability increases that somebody’s going to take this home to their family, to their granny, their grandpa, to their long-term care home where they work, the hospital where they work, the correctional facility where they work, the work environment where they may be in close contact with other people,” Henry said.

The province is also presenting data for the first time on where exposures are happening.

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains possible long-term effects of COVID-19 on young people
Dr. Bonnie Henry explains possible long-term effects of COVID-19 on young people

No students contracted the virus in connection to June’s return to school.

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The province has also released ethnic demographic data for the first time.

Nearly 400,000 British Columbians filled out the province’s COVID-19 survey.

On the question of whether a respondent had seen an increased difficulty meeting financial needs 44.9% of West Asia/Arab respondents said they had compared to 40.6 per cent of South Asian respondents, 35.5 per cent of Chinese respondents and 29 per cent of Caucasian respondents.

In terms of not working during the pandemic, 22.6 per cent of Latin American respondents said they were out of work compared to 21.1% of Black respondents, 16.4 per cent of Chinese respondents and 14 per cent of Caucasian respondents.

“We’ve seen around the world that this virus and the measures that have been taken do expose some of the differential impacts or some of the inequities in our communities and we’re no different,” Henry said.

COVID-19 data shows dramatic spread of virus linked to private parties
COVID-19 data shows dramatic spread of virus linked to private parties

Those who make the least in the province also disproportionately felt the impacts of the pandemic. Of those making between $20,000 to $59,000, 37.8 per cent reported economic impacts due to the pandemic compared to 30.8 per cent of those making between $100,000 and $139,000.

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As for those who lost their job due to the pandemic, 19.8% of those making between $20,000 to $59,000 experience job loss compared to 13.9% of those making between $100,000 and $139,000.