B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s public health survey had nearly 400,000 people participate. (B.C. government)

B.C.’s COVID-19 community infection rate held below 1%

Survey finds widespread worry about pandemic impact

B.C.’s efforts to flatten the COVID-19 pandemic curve continue to be successful, but the restrictions are having a significant effect on residents as they drag on into the summer.

Those are among the findings of the health ministry’s survey of nearly 400,000 people, and the latest modelling from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix released the modelling results and survey data July 20, showing that the summer reopening of the economy has led to only a few additional confirmed coronavirus infections in June and early July. They warn that the small number of cases so far makes it difficult to project how the rest of the summer will unfold, as travel picks up around the province and from outside it.

The case numbers show that community COVID-19 infection rates have stayed below one per cent, and antibody testing shows less than one per cent of the population has been exposed. As with other regions, the BCCDC estimates that the actual number of infections is about eight times the reported cases.

Henry said public health officials expected to see increased cases, but the risk for B.C. now is that clusters of infection are showing up after gatherings in restaurants, bars, house parties and houseboats.

“It might be a small group one night and a different small group the next time, and those are the environments where this virus can be passed on,” Henry said, adding B.C. still does have “the possibility of explosive growth unless we’re careful.”

The most recent case results are a concern, with 102 positive tests recorded from July 17-20, Henry said.

RELATED: B.C. records 102 new cases, no deaths since Friday

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit could go deeper than $12.5B

The survey reflects the employment impacts measured so far, as B.C. families with children report a greater mental health and economic burden than the broader population. B.C. residents aged 18 to 29 also report greater mental health and economic effects, as they face the highest unemployment rate.

The survey finds that four out of five B.C. residents approve of the province’s response to the pandemic, with 96 per cent reporting they practice preventive personal hygiene such as hand washing and physical distance.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A volunteer diver takes a breath during an underwater clean up of Kootenay Lake in Nelson on Oct. 17. Photo: Mike Sagal
Volunteer divers clean up Nelson shore

A team hauled trash out from Kootenay Lake

Nelson City Council discussed COVID-19’s effect on the city at its Oct. 13 meeting. Video screen capture: City of Nelson
Nelson council discusses local business effects of pandemic so far

Report includes results of a summer business survey

LVR Drama student Emerald Lockhart adjusts his costume for a dress rehearsal. Students will perform theatre pieces in Nelson backyards, distanced but not wearing masks. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Live theatre comes to your Nelson backyard

LVR senior drama class will perform short pieces for households as a fundsraiser for the Capitol Theatre.

Nelson’s Flight Corporal Willow Kikosewin-Holden has kept her training during the lockdown. Photo: Submitted
Nelson air cadet completes summer program

Flight Corporal Willow Kikosewin-Holden is moving up in aviation

South Nelson Elementary students added several new varieties of plants to the school grounds with the help of KinSeed Ecologies. Photo: Submitted
South Nelson students get digging

The school added several new varieties of plants to its grounds with the help of KinSeed Ecologies

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Most Read