With nearly two-thirds of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases in the clear, B.C. has the highest recovery rate in Canada – but the question is, how?
Of the province’s 1,266 cases, 805 patients have so far recovered. The total number of cases is more modest compared to other parts of Canada, however.
The highest number of cases in Canada are:
- Quebec: 8,580 with 720 recoveries
- Ontario: 4,347 with 1,802 recoveries
- Alberta: 1,373 with 447 recoveries
When asked why our recovery rate has been higher, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said, “some parts of it are luck, and some parts of it are being prepared.”
Determining the recoveries
One factor in B.C.’s varying rates is a result of how we determine who is in the clear.
Henry explained that if a person with the virus only shows mild symptoms and isn’t hospitalized, then they are considered recovered after 10 days without symptoms.
“That has been validated around the world from data we have seen, particularly from Germany, which shows that after a period of time when your symptoms resolve you no longer shed live virus,” she explained.
Meanwhile someone who is hospitalized or is immunocompromised is considered clear once they produce two negative lab reports, 24 hours apart.
B.C. saw more cases sooner
B.C.’s high recovery rate is also related to seeing more cluster cases sooner than other provinces. That means it was easier for health officials to catch and stop it from spreading.
But a big reason for high recovery rates is simply due to preparation. Henry had said B.C. was able to “take a lot of measures early.”
Dr. David Fisman, an epidemiology professor at the University of Toronto, told CBC that B.C. has a “functioning public health system.”
“Here in Ontario, we have had difficulties with public health leadership culture for a long time,” he added.
Spring Break played a role as well, as B.C.’s vacation is scheduled later than the rest of Canada. And while Henry advised people to take it easy, Ontario’s premiere told the public to go out and enjoy the holiday.
There are many factors at play, but it seems British Columbians can be thankful for the relatively low numbers. But with that said, it’s still integral to stay inside and social distance.
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