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More People In B.C. Apparently Have COVID-19 Than Previously Reported: Study

Wuhan Coronavirus First Case In British Columbia Canada

Photo: BC Centre For Disease Control

On top of the rising number of B.C. COVID-19 cases, a new study suggests eight times as many people in Metro Vancouver have been affected by the novel coronavirus than previously reported.

Researchers at BC Centre for Disease Control, UBC, LifeLabs and other public health scientists worked on the joint study. It was published on the health research website, MedRxiv.

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The study looked at anonymous blood samples collected for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 in March and May. The first samples for March showed a prevalence of 0.28%, while the May sample found a prevalence of 0.55%.


If the study’s prevalence rate applies to the whole provincial population, it could mean about 28,000 people have had the virus. Currently, B.C. has confirmed 3,149 COVID-19 cases.

Health officials previously said more people have been infected with the virus than have tested positive.

“Overall the level of infection in B.C. was low and that’s due to the actions of people in B.C. That said, there are more people who were infected with COVID-19 than tested positive and that’s something we’ve said clearly, especially in the period of March and April when we were focusing our testing program particularly on specific groups including health-care workers,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry as well as by the Clinical Research Ethics Board at the University approved the study. The province recorded 21 new cases, Wednesday, with no new deaths.

For more Vancouver news, head to our News section.


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