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Nine new COVID-19 cases reported and province provides updated modeling data

As B.C.’s total COVID-19 case numbers continue to slowly climb, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, offered some updated modelling data and information regarding the illness.

Nine new cases have been reported within the province, with a total of 2,632 so far.

As of Thursday, June 4th, 201 infections remain active, as 2,265 people have recovered from the illness.

Henry offered a more granular breakdown of regional numbers, with a graph depicting 18 total cases within the East Kootenay, and no new cases in the region within the last two weeks.

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“There have been no communities in B.C. that have not been affected by COVID-19, some more so than others,” said Henry. “We know there was a period of time, particularly in March, where many people were coming back from travel, where we did not have testing as widely available around the province. There were many people who had this illness but were not represented in these numbers. Part of our strategy to understand that impact is to ensure that those people will be followed up with serology testing as soon as we are confident that we have a valid test.”

No new deaths have been reported within B.C. on Thursday, 166 British Columbians have died from the virus so far.

Keeping consistent with past data, Henry said the impacts of COVID-19 become more severe as people age, as there have been no deaths of anyone under 40 years old and no person under 20 has been administered to the ICU due to the virus.

“The things that strike us about looking at the age of the people who have had the disease, is that the majority of cases are people between the ages of 30 to 60,” said Henry. “That reflects a lot of our working population, particularly our health care workers.”

Henry added that there have been 26 cases in people under 10 years old (1% of total cases), and 51 infections in people between 10 and 19, making up 2% of B.C.’s total cases.

Henry also presented some projection data, showing that if current measures of physical distancing remain in place and people remain cautious, the numbers will continue to decrease.

As well, Henry presented information that showed that schools pose a low risk to children, as long as they are current guidelines are upheld.

“Children are less likely to get COVID-19, for reasons that likely to do with their receptors. Even if children were 100% susceptible, meaning they the same risk as adults to get the illness, opening schools will have a minimal impact on transmission in our province as long as we are doing the things we have been doing,” explained Dr. Henry. “This is reassuring to us, that even in the worst-case scenario where children have the same rate of transmission as adults, that reopening of schools is not something we would expect to cause rapid growth, as long as we are continuing to maintain our safe distances and make sure that our schools are equipt to prevent transmission to the greatest extent possible.”

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