BY PAMELA FAYERMAN

The B.C. government released a new map this week showing where people who’ve been infected with COVID-19 reside.

The government had earlier in the pandemic resisted sharing geographic distribution of COVID-19 because of worries that such information might violate privacy.

Dr. Bonnie Henry

“Early on, we gave broader geographic areas (health authority boundaries) because there were such small numbers that people would be identified if we knew that somebody had traveled to a certain area or come back from a cruise ship,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer.

Henry emphasized that the map shows where people live but that may be different from where they contracted the virus. Indeed, many of the hotspots correspond to areas where there have been outbreaks in such places as prisons, food manufacturing plants, tourism hotspots, and long term care facilities.

Richmond’s low numbers may surprise some but as Henry has said before, the community has a high concentration of Chinese residents and many were already in the habit of wearing masks when the pandemic struck eight months ago.

During her routine press briefing Thursday, Henry said about a third of B.C.’s cases are liked to parties and nightclubs; another third stem from infections by family members or friends; the final third relate to workplace clusters, travel and outbreaks in long term care.

Aware of growing anxiety about the return to school, Henry said B.C.’s case counts are “very low, relative to any other jurisdiction in the world.”

In a province with a population of about five million, there have been 5,372 confirmed cases so far and 204 deaths. Twenty-two people are currently in hospital and 4,253 have recovered. (For an explanation on what recovery means, read my article here.)

 

FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT MAPS & MORE DATA AVAILABLE FROM BCCDC HERE