COVID-19 Diary – Day 176

Today is Friday on a long weekend where we have Monday off. I would like to ask everyone to remember to have safe fun this holiday, and to continue physical distancing whenever possible, and that wearing a mask is not a green light to ignore distancing or other safety guidelines.

Yesterday Dr. Bonnie Henry released new modeling data for our province, and spoke at length about how we are doing, and a little of what we can expect moving forward. Yesterday’s post was already quite full however, so I am going to go over the data today instead.

The first graphic shows us the geographic location of the cases of COVID-19, first from Jan 1st to Aug 27th, and then on the right from Aug 14 to Aug 27. It is important to remember when looking at this graphic that these numbers represent where the infected person lives, and not necessarily where they were infected. There are many cases where people were infected at work in other areas, or outside of the province or country even. With that in mind, you can see from the numbers that case loads outside of the lower mainland and the north-eastern part of the province, are currently very light.

Next up is the Likely Source of Infection chart, which is based on the provided exposure information from each infected person. Most cases are considered local exposure cases, with very few being attributed to international exposures. Unfortunately there are a fair amount of local unknown exposures, but hopefully with the increase of 500 additional contact tracing positions, we will see those numbers decrease quickly.

Next we have the COVID-19 case count by age groups. It probably comes as no surprise that the most commonly infected age group is now 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years. Both these age groups have been associated with large unsafe parties and gatherings in the last several weeks.

Now we get to the Proportion of Cases by Exposure or Age During Phase 3 graphic. I edited this graphic to include the case counts above each age-demographic bar, just to make it a little easier to see how the case numbers weight the bar. It’s hard to be certain, but it looks like the most common place of infection is at home, when someone else brings it to a “safe bubble” and one or more people catch the virus. In the age groups 20-29 and 30-39 we see a lot of infections from Restaurants and Bars, Private Parties, Workplaces, and Other locations (Dr. Bonnie Henry specifically mentioned this was places like Gyms). These places combined represent about 50-60% of infections for these age ranges. We also see a lot of unknown transmissions, which shows we need to become a lot more careful of keeping track of our travel and activities.

The next two graphics show the level of hospitalizations we’ve seen since March, including the amount that needed intensive care. Overall our numbers have remained relatively low, especially when compared to our earlier numbers between March and May.

The final graph should the average number of secondary infections per new infection, over time. Our goal is to keep this number at 1 or lower, so the disease isn’t able to grow. Early in the pandemic in BC, the number was around 3. Previously we have also seen large spikes around Canada Day long weekend, and around the end of July/Early August. Right now we are at just under 1.5, and seem to be stabilizing around this point for the moment. But we still need to push a little harder to get this number below 1, so our number of known active cases can come down to a better amount.

If you want to see the rest of the graphics, the entire presentation can be found here.

If you have the time though, I recommend watching the actual press conference where Dr. Bonnie Henry goes over all the slides herself. Click here for the full video.

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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