Interior Health’s COVID-19 curve really can’t get much flatter - InfoNews

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Interior Health’s COVID-19 curve really can’t get much flatter

B.C.'s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has frequently said every part of B.C.'s COVID-19 pandemic is different.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of British Columbia
May 21, 2020 - 7:00 AM

While provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives daily updates on new cases of COVID-19 throughout the province, what’s not always obvious is how few of those cases are in the Interior Health Region.

Out of the province’s five health regions, the Interior is the second smallest by population, with roughly 760,000 residents (based on 2018 population estimates) and covers a huge geographic region, from the Cariboo to the Alberta and U.S. borders.

Yet there have only been two new cases in the Interior Health Region in the last 12 days from May 7 up to May 19. At the same time, B.C., as a whole, has recorded 158 new cases.

Or, to put it another way, the Interior Health Region makes up about 16 per cent of B.C.’s population but has accounted for less than eight per cent of COVID-19 cases, and 1.2 per cent in the last 12 days.

These graphs show the “curve” of B.C. cases on the left versus the Interior on the right since the start of the pandemic in January. Note that the scale on the left of each graph is different, with the B.C. graph going from zero to 100 while the Interior graph shows zero to 20.

B.C.'s curve on the left, Interior Health on the right.
B.C.'s curve on the left, Interior Health on the right.
Image Credit: Submitted/B.C. Centre for Disease Control

The Vancouver Island Health Region is closest in population to the Interior with about 40,000 more people but a smaller geographic size and a smaller number of confirmed cases with 126. Its curve looks like this. (Note: scale of cases per day varies by region.)

Vancouver Island Health Region
Vancouver Island Health Region
Image Credit: Submitted/B.C. Centre for Disease Control

The Northern Health Region covers a large geographic area but has only 281,000 residents. It has recorded 60 cases and its curve looks like this.

Northern Health Region
Northern Health Region
Image Credit: Submitted/B.C. Centre for Disease Control

By population, Fraser Health Region is the largest at 1.8 million and has the lions share of cases at 1,196. Its curve looks like this.

Fraser Health Region
Fraser Health Region
Image Credit: Submitted/B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Vancouver Coastal Health Region comes in with 883 cases for 1.2 residents. Its curve looks like this.

Vancouver Coastal Health Region
Vancouver Coastal Health Region
Image Credit: Submitted/B.C. Centre for Disease Control

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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