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

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

Kalamalka Secondary School staff and students have been warned to self isolate if showing COVID-19 symptoms after possible exposure on March 13, 2020. (Google Maps)
First case of COVID-19 in Coldstream school

Three more schools confirm positive cases

The City of Vernon’s Recreation Services is bringing back indoor walking at Kal Tire Place, with public skating also in the works over the Christmas holidays. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon rec hard hit in pandemic

Cancellations and closures see expected drops in fourth-quarter report

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

(THE NEWS – files)
Snowy days ahead for the Okanagan and Shuswap

The region could get up to 5 cm by Thursday

Three cars had their tires slashed in Vernon over the weekend. (Contributed)
Tires slashed at three Vernon residences

RCMP investigating Okanagan Landing-area incidents

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Penticton Search and Rescue completed two rescues in succession of each other Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 afternoon. (PENSAR / Facebook)
Penticton Search and Rescue members execute back-to-back rescues

PENSAR had barely completed their first rescue of the day when they received a second call

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Most Read