Friday January 15, 2021 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., editor | Island Social Trends
While Vancouver Island has overall fared relatively well as to the degree of COVID-19 infections among individuals compared to the rest of BC, four days this week (January 11 to 14) have seen the number of cases rise by 69 and there were three more deaths.
There have now been 1,207 test-positive cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island since the beginning of the pandemic (nine epi-linked) and 15 deaths (including one in Metchosin in the west shore).
Today’s Friday stats will come later this afternoon.
Twelve people are currently hospitalized in Island Health with COVID-19. Of those, two are in critical care or ICU. There have been 69 hospitalizations to date since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
Age distribution on Vancouver Island:
The age range of COVID-19 cases this week on Vancouver Island showed steady increases across most age groups except over age 80 where there’s been only one case in the last four days. Here are the number of cases in Island Health by age (with new cases over the past four days in brackets):
- up to age 10: 70 (+10)
- 10 to 19 years: 116 (+9)
- 20s: 248 (+18)
- 30s: 202 (+11)
- 40s: 160 (+10)
- 50s: 163 (+6)
- 60s: 141 (+6)
- 70s: 70 (+1)
- 80s: 29 (+1)
- 90+: 8 (+0)
Consistently for months, the number of cases among people ages 40 to 49 years has been lower on Vancouver Island (relative to the other age groupings) compared to the tally for the entire province. Perhaps there are fewer people in that age group who are exposed to the virus through essential work or travel, or they could be in industries that are primarily outdoors, or perhaps their health is robust enough that they don’t catch COVID-19 or show symptoms.
Vancouver Island’s tally of 1,207 cases is two per cent of the 59,608 throughout the province. Since the holidays the greater increases have been seen in the Interior where more family gatherings and tourist visits occurred between Christmas and New Year.
The 69 hospitalizations in Island Health during the pandemic to date are also two per cent of the 3,383 hospitalizations through all of BC.
The 15 deaths on Vancouver Island due to COVID-19 represent 1.4 per cent of the BC total of 1,038. About 80 per cent of deaths have occurred among residents of long-term care homes.
Vancouver Island has about 10 per cent of the provincial population.
Regionally speaking, the largest number of COVID cases to date have occurred in Central Vancouver Island (561), with South Vancouver Island showing less (389) and North Vancouver Island the lowest tally (248).
The lower incidence of COVID-19 cases and spread on Vancouver Island continues to be a matter of debate. However, some of the factors might include a more outdoor-active lifestyle and generally lower housing density in towns and cities compared to the lower mainland. There also seems to be a high degree of attentiveness to following the public health guidelines, including limiting one’s non-essential travel.
===== Related Links:
BC explores options to restrict inter-provincial travel (January 14, 2021)
No COVID-19 cases at Ayre Manor in Sooke (January 13, 2021)
Island Health: COVID outbreaks in long-term care (January 12, 2021)