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BC creates coronavirus data models

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 2:07 PDT, Fri March 27, 2020

Last Updated: 2:20 PDT, Fri March 27, 2020

In an address today (March 27), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provided modelling information on coronavirus cases in BC.

Through this modelling, which is based on existing data, the province aims to chart trajectory compared to other locations.

While Henry said she sees a small flattening of the curve in the recent days, this should increase as current distancing measures start to have a larger-scale impact. 

“We are still within the time frame of implementation of the broad social measures we’ve all been impacted by in the last couple of weeks,” said Henry.

BC’s transmission rate has dropped from 24 per cent to 12 per cent per day due to these social measures. Henry continues to encourage people to follow social distancing recommendations to prevent community transmission.

Minister of Health Adrian Dix spoke on the acute care capacity across the province, comparing possible levels of need to the outbreaks in Hubei province and northern Italy. 

Based on the deferral of scheduled elective surgeries, BC’s 17 major hospitals—designated as the core sites for the COVID-19 outbreak—have sufficient ventilators for a Hubei level epidemic. 

In the event of a more serious outbreak such as the one in northern Italy, all sites would need to be used to meet bed demand.

“We are preparing for the worst possible scenarios,” said Dix. 

While both acknowledged that BC’s situation is unique, the province continues with dynamic modelling to prepare for situations that may be as severe as those in Hubei and northern Italy.

The BC Centre for Disease Control website has a full record of the models presented by Henry and Dix. 

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