COVID-19 Diary – Day 221

Weekly Charts

With the start of a new week comes the weekly charts update. Over the weekend BC broke the record for the highest number of new cases in a single day, with 172 new cases reported on Saturday. Unfortunately, that record didn’t hold very long as it was broken almost immediately when 174 new cases were reported for Monday (today). This resulted in a grand total of 499 new cases being reported over the weekend, representing almost half of the 7 day total of 1055 new cases. This past week is the first week BC has seen more than 1000 cases reported in a single 7-day (Tues-Mon) time frame.

Despite our high numbers, as you can see from the above chart our week to week case growth remains relatively consistent. In her conference this afternoon, Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed that most infections are now caught either before new transmissions occur, or after only 1 transmission. She also confirmed that unpredictable super-spreaders are the main transmission issue we are currently facing.

Not Exponential or Uncontrolled Growth

This chart is theoretical and does not reflect real case numbers in this or any province

The phrase “exponential growth” gets used frequently these days when referring to BC’s COVID-19 case numbers. Luckily, we do not have exponential growth here in BC, even if our numbers may feel wild or out of control. To better illustrate the differences, we have prepared the above graph, which demonstrates what a consistent exponential growth arc would look like during the period of our second wave (only). We used a 50% growth rate for this example, but we’ve seen individual growth spikes at over 70%. Earlier in the pandemic when we were still struggling to put control methods in place we saw week-to-week growth rates exceeding 600%. So please rest assured that while our numbers are concerning, and we all need to be doing everything we can to prevent further COVID-19 transmissions, we are not seeing anywhere near what “exponential” or “uncontrolled” growth would look like.

BC Election Data

Election day is just 5 days away, and things are looking quite positive regarding COVID Safety measures. Of the 3.48 million registered voters in BC, 724,000 requested mail-in ballots (just under 21%). Of those ballots, almost 1/3rd have already been received by Elections BC. In addition to the mail-in ballots, 380,000 votes were also cast over the last 4 days using advance polls. Advance voting will be offered until Oct 21st.

In the past, advance voting represented ~30% of all votes cast. This year, between mail-in ballots and advance in-person polls, it may represent more than 50% of the total votes cast. This will likely result in a much less crowded turn-out at the polls on October 24th, hopefully without a reduction in the number of votes cast.

If you have not yet sent in your mail-in ballot, please either drop it off at Elections BC directly or consider advance voting in-person. It is no longer likely that sending it by mail will allow it to arrive in time to be counted.

And while this blog aims to remain a-political, we encourage you to consider candidates who are pro-science in their approach to COVID-19.

Your Feedback – We’re Listening!

On Friday we posted a poll and asked you what kind of content you wanted to see more of on this blog. You voted, and we’re paying attention! Here is what you told us:

The Most Popular: Scientific Studies

You want them, and we’re going to give them to you!

Quite Popular: Vaccine Candidate Updates, Treatment Updates, Conspiracy Theory Debunking, and Transmission Events & Science

The first 2 of these will depend on new news being available, but we will do our best to increase coverage of the latter 2!

Less Popular: Numbers, Statistics, Graphs, and Raw Data, and School News

This is very helpful information! We will keep our number-data discussion to just one day a week and will scale back our coverage of school news unless something big happens. There are already dedicated groups following every school exposure event, and they do a much better job of covering this information than we can.

Not Popular: Support for People Negatively Affected by the Pandemic

The BC and Federal governments have been doing a decent job of promoting their programs, so unless something big comes up we will leave it to them.

Thank you!

Thank you for all your feedback everyone! We may re-evaluate again at a later time, just to check in with you all. In the meantime, we are always available through the comment section!

That’s all for now, stay safe everyone!

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