Flowers rest in front of crosses placed to remember the residents of Camilla Care Community who have lost their lives to COVID-19, in Mississauga, Ont. on Monday, May 11, 2020. Provisional estimates from Statistics Canada suggest nearly 14,000 more deaths than expected took place last year, even accounting for the pandemic and an aging population. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Flowers rest in front of crosses placed to remember the residents of Camilla Care Community who have lost their lives to COVID-19, in Mississauga, Ont. on Monday, May 11, 2020. Provisional estimates from Statistics Canada suggest nearly 14,000 more deaths than expected took place last year, even accounting for the pandemic and an aging population. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Pandemic toll: StatCan data estimates nearly 14,000 more deaths than expected in 2020

2020 saw seven per cent more than the 277,276 deaths seen in 2019

Provisional estimates from Statistics Canada suggest nearly 14,000 more deaths than expected took place last year, even accounting for the pandemic and an aging population.

The early numbers attempt to measure so-called “excess mortality,” which occurs when there are more deaths during a period of time than would be expected.

The report estimates 296,373 deaths from January to mid-December 2020, including 13,798 more deaths than expected, or a five per cent increase.

It’s about seven per cent more than the 277,276 deaths seen in 2019.

StatCan cautions that Wednesday’s figures are considered “provisional estimates,” noting data was incomplete due to reporting delays and do not include the Yukon. They will be revised as more information comes in, and may not match local reports.

StatCan also notes that excess mortality numbers may actually include COVID-19-related deaths that were missed, especially at the start of the pandemic when some people may have died before getting tested.

Despite the limitations, the study does offer an early attempt to quantify the true toll of COVID-19 and its myriad impacts, as access to health services became restricted and mental-health crises increased.

The early data already suggests that deaths due to heart disease, for instance, rose last spring in Ontario.

Based on data received to date,StatCan found 4,345 heart disease deaths from March to June in that province – up from 4,125 in the spring of 2019 and higher than in the spring of any of the previous five years.

The estimates also echo reports of more overdose deaths in 2020, following an apparent decline in 2019 from highs in 2017 and 2018.

The study says Alberta reported 220 overdose deaths from March to June 2020, up from 170 deaths the previous year.

StatCan notes Alberta Health Services reported more opioid-related emergencies and deaths but also a drop in the number of substance use treatment programs on offer, and a drop in the number of people using those programs.

A similar update last August looked at spring data and noted that excess mortality may also be due to other causes not directly linked to the pandemic.

As an example, excess deaths recorded in Nova Scotia in April were partly driven by a mass shooting April 18 and 19.

ALSO READ: 160,000 individuals, couples still waiting to receive their BC Recovery Benefit

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Vernon residents were able to bring propane fire pits down to Polson Park, between Jan. 25 - April 5 to enjoy with their family bubble, similar to those provided for residents at Predator Ridge. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Fire pits a flop in Vernon’s Polson Park

City spends estimated $2K on temporary program, few, if any take advantage; option closed now

Sheila Derbyshire dressed up as a scary clown to surprise her daughter, Talyn, at Len Wood Middle School in Armstrong April 12, 2021, for her 13th birthday. (Sheila Derbyshire - Contributed)
Armstrong mom sends in the clowns

‘Halloween freak’ celebrates daughter’s 13th birthday in style

Taxes are going up slightly for homeowners in 2021 to give businesses a break. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Tax shifts burden from Vernon businesses to homeowners

New rate for residential 2.67 per cent or $42 for average home

City of Armstrong community services manager and chief bylaw officer Warren Smith stands with the new food waste bin and garbage cart to be delivered to eligible residents later this month. (Brooke Hovey photo)
Armstrong changes waste collection system

Residents to be given new bins as part of the new system which goes into effect May 1

Pixabay.
Non-stop flights between Ottawa and Kelowna to be offered this summer

One-way flights start as low as $59 with taxes and fees included

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A five-storey, 60-unit building has been proposed for 8709 Jubilee Rd. E., Summerland. The proposal will be the subject of a public hearing on March 22. (Image by GTA Architecture)
Zoning, OCP amendments adopted for Summerland housing development

Additional variances will be needed for controversial five-storey, 60-unit housing development

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

Lime e-scooters will soon be offered in Kelowna. (Photo: Kris Krug)
E-scooters now allowed on Kelowna roadways under provincial pilot program

‘Rather than a novelty, this change will enable e-scooters to be used for more utilitarian transportation purposes’

Air Canada cancelled service to and from Penticton Jan. 11, 2021. After receving $5.9 billion in federal aid the airline is now set to renew service on the route in June, 2021. (Mark Brett - Western News file)
Air Canada flights set to return to the South Okanagan

Federal aid could have the Vancouver/Penticton route back to pre-pandemic service

(Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Man found tangled in barbed wire on trail near UBC Okanagan

Man’s friend claims he’d been drinking when he went missing Monday afternoon

Most Read