Home Health COVID-19 COVID cases in BC hit their second-highest daily count

COVID cases in BC hit their second-highest daily count

236 new COVID cases in the last three days (BC Centre for Disease Control)

Monday August 17, 2020 | VANCOUVER, BC

by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends

The COVID-19 case counts have been trending upward steadily in BC this summer, to the great disappointment of public health officials and most British Columbians who have made great sacrifices to keep the epidemiological curve flattened in this province.

Today BC Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Réka Gustafson, deputy provincial health officer and vice-president of the Provincial Health Services Authority, presented commentary and details on three days of COVID-19 statistics as produced by the BC Centre for Disease Control. They spoke in Vancouver, presenting data that covers Friday August 14 to Monday August 17.

August 17 2020, COVID stats, BC Centre for Disease Control
At August 17, 2020 there are 4,594 cases of COVID-19 in BC. (236 new since the last report on August 14). Two more deaths to a total of 198.

Over the weekend and into Monday, the three-day case increase in BC tallies to 236 (100 cases August 14-15; 88 cases August 15-16; 48 cases August 16-17). That brings the provincial total to 4,594 (57 of those are epilinked).

The 100 cases for August 15 is the second-highest case count to date in BC during the full period of the pandemic since January 2020.

There are 743 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Case analysis by age group:

Of the 236 new cases, notably 102 (43.2%) are among young adults age 20 to 29. And among adults age 30 to 39 — which Minister Dix said today really isn’t ‘young’, the new-case count was 80 (33.9%).

age, cases, COVID-19, BC, August 17 2020
At August 17, there is a striking increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among adults ages 20 to 39. (BC Centre for Disease Control)

Another area of concern — so close to the start of school in September — is the case count upswing is in children and teens — a total of 42 new cases in three days (16 in kids under age 10, and 26 in youth age 10 to 19 years).

Dr Gustafson noted today that the majority of new infections are among young adults, and that public health has “protected most vulnerable” but that there are also outbreaks in long term care facilities and “risks to vulnerable citizens remain”.

Young adults with mild symptoms can be spreading the disease:

Dr Réka Gustafson, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, during a COVID news conference in Vancouver on Monday August 17, 2020.

Despite reports that some people who’ve contracted and ‘recovered’ from COVID-19 have lingering symptoms including serious fatigue and breathing problems, today Dr Gustafson said for otherwise “young and healthy people that COVID-19 can be relatively mild infection”.

But as such, it can spread with mild symptoms or before symptoms appear. “Particularly for young adults for majority of cases today.” She said this is “quite challenging” as mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic adults “may not even realize they have COVID, then spread it to friends, colleagues, and family members … their circle, community and workplace.

In the last three days there were 39 more cases in ages 40 to 49 years, and 31 more cases in adults ages 50 to 59 years.

Health Minister Adrian Dix on Monday August 17, 2020 during COVID press conference in Vancouver.

Seniors in the 60 to 69 age group saw 20 new cases in the past three days. Total cases in this age group: 433.

Elderly people over age 70 saw 16 new cases in the last three days, for a total of 719 cases since the beginning of the pandemic (300 ages 70-79, 262 ages 80-89, and 157 over age 90 years).

Two more deaths in BC:

In the last three days there have been two new COVID deaths, bringing the BC total to 198. Minister Dix noted in his remarks today that the BC death tally from the COVID-19 coronavirus is “a small fraction of what it is in Alberta and Washington State” (those being immediately adjacent jurisdictions).

The border between the Canada and the USA remains closed at this time to at least September 21, and may remain closed for the rest of this year. Dix may be one who would hope to see it stay closed longer, as today he said the pandemic will last at least through 2021.

A vaccine or effective treatment is the only ‘way out’ of the current pandemic situation.

Some tougher measures coming soon:

Today Minister Dix announced that Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth will be announcing some stricter measures to clamp down on people who are flagrantly, knowingly or willingly breaking the public health rules (like physical distancing, most specifically breaches in public places where guidelines and public health orders are in place) that are required to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control.

Vancouver Island sees first case in a child under 10:

There is now a total of 154 cases on Vancouver Island (four new cases since the last BC CDC report on August 14). Of the 154 total, four are epilinked.

Vancouver Island, COVID, August 17 2020
Now 154 cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island (four new cases August 14 to 17, 2020). BC Centre for Disease Control

Today the first case of COVID-19 in a child under age 10 was recorded for Vancouver Island. The number of cases for youth ages 10 to 19 years still stands at eight on the island.

There were case increases in the mid-adult range: two new cases in people 30-39 years and one new case in people age 40-49 years.

No one is presently in hospital on Vancouver Island with COVID-19. A total of 143 people on Vancouver Island have recovered from COVID-19 after infection. The total number of deaths on Vancouver Island has remained at five for several months.

First shared conference for Deputy PHO:

Today was Deputy Provincial Health Officer Dr. Réka Gustafson’s first COVID teleconference sharing the podium with Health Minister Dix. She is doing press conferences this week with Dix, in the wake of Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry doing 118 such conferences with Dix since the beginning of the pandemic.

Check the Island Health website for exposure events:

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (aka COVID-19) produces a wide range of symptoms, though some people can be asymptomatic while infected.

Gustafson noted that 2,286 people are in self-isolation for 14 days and are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases of COVID-19.

She advises people check their local Health Authority website (on Vancouver Island that’s Island Health) for information on exposures and outbreaks, and to follow guidance of public health teams if they happened to have been in a place where a COVID exposure has been reported.

===== Links:

BC Centre for Disease Control – COVID information

Things nobody tells you about COVID-19 (from someone who suffered through it) – LA Times, August 12, 2020