Modelling group predicts BC COVID-19 cases could reach record numbers

Modelling group predicts BC COVID-19 cases could reach record numbers

A video voiced by Dr. Eric Cytrynbaum, and released by the BC COVID-19 Modelling Group, doesn’t pull punches.

“The first important point that I want to highlight is that we are now seeing exponential growth in all regions of the province,” Cytrynbaum can be heard saying in the video.

The modelling group is comprised of  data analysts and researchers from B.C. universities and is independent from the provincial government.

They’ve released their eighth report that details why B.C.’s case count is leaping, from 50 cases a month ago, to a staggering 500 to 700 daily cases.

According to this new modelling, it’s going to get worse in every health region in the province.

Dr. Dean Karlen said the numbers could improve, but not without stringent measures.

“I would describe the future as a crisis if no action is taken. No change in human behavior,” he said.

It’s the Delta variant causing the concern, and the report warns that hospitals could be overwhelmed this fall.

Cases are doubling every nine days and Dr. Caroline Colijn predicts case counts could reach 2,000 a day in B.C. by September.

“Right now unfortunately, people who are not vaccinated are much more at risk of getting COVID, and especially if we don’t control transmission with more lockdowns. And we don’t want to.”

The scientists are calling on the B.C. government to aggressively promote vaccinations to reach at least a 90 per cent vaccination rate to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

“After following this disease for so many months, in so many jurisdictions, it would be quite surprising to see this turnaround on its way without deliberate measures,” Karlen said.

That could include bringing back some of the circuit breaker measures introduced in late March.

That’s when restaurants had to limit service to outdoor dining, indoor fitness was restricted, and only essential travel was permitted.

Dr. Jens von Bergmann said the emphasis should be to vaccinate everyone in the province who can be vaccinated.

“In the end, we’ll have the situation where by the end of the year, either everybody will have gotten, been vaccinated, or have gotten COVID. or both.”

The scientists say cases will only decrease when everyone who can be vaccinated is vaccinated.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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