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Provinces struggle to keep COVID-19 at bay; B.C. set to unveil new modelling amid spike

Last Updated Nov 12, 2020 at 2:50 pm PST

The SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO-NIAID-RML, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Summary

B.C. is set to unveil its latest epidemiological modelling data for COVID-19

Manitoba enters Code Red lockdown on Thursday amid rising number of COVID-19 cases

Ontario is releasing its COVID-19 projections for the holiday season on Thursday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Three weeks after B.C. entered the second wave of COVID-19, we’re set to get the latest epidemiological modelling, which includes how the next few weeks may play out.

The new modelling in B.C. comes as Canada’s new hotspot for infections starts a major lockdown, in an effort to try to control its rising caseload.

Manitoba has been struggling to slow the spread of the coronavirus since cases started spiking in recent weeks, and after a summer lull. The province now has the highest per-capita caseload of active infections in Canada.

The province’s health care system is under strain, with ICU beds running close to capacity. As part of Manitoba’s Code Red lockdown, gatherings in Manitoba are limited to five people, churches can’t hold in-person services, and non-essential stores and restaurants are limited to curbside pickup and delivery beginning Thursday.

“Every region starts to shoot up right after [the] Thanksgiving weekend, so that is an example of how dangerous this can get quickly,” Cynthia Carr, an epidemiologist in Manitoba, explains, pointing to a noticeable curve on a graph.

“You look at the impact, and for example, a long-term care setting, the mortality rate is about 25, 26 per cent. The older you are the median length of the stay in the hospital is 12, 13, 14 days. That’s the mid point,” Carr adds.

Wednesday marked Manitoba’s deadliest day since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

B.C. modelling to be released Thursday

B.C. has also been shattering daily case count records over the last few weeks, with the provincial government implementing new measures in the the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions for two weeks, ending on Nov. 23. Under these new restrictions, social gatherings are banned.

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A health sciences researcher wants the two regions, where COVID-19 cases are highest in the province, to go further, renewing his calls for a mandatory mask policy.

On Tuesday, B.C. reported 525 new cases of COVID-19, marking yet another daily total surpassing 500.

B.C.’s last modelling update on Oct. 5 showed that despite the second wave of COVID-19, British Columbians were flattening the curve.

Ontario data

Meanwhile, Ontario is also set to release its COVID-19 projections for the holiday season on Thursday.

The new data is expected to paint a bleak picture of the situation heading into the next several weeks, as Ontario continues to report record daily totals of COVID-19. The last time Ontario released modelling, at the end of October, Premier Doug Ford hinted that it would show good news — the curve going down — but that’s not what happened.