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COVID-19: Epidemiology in Canada

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

My mother posted an update on her FaceBook page. My mom is a semi-retired nurse who works in long-term care homes. She posted a chart from B.C. regarding the number of active COVID-19 cases which were predominantly in the Fraser Health region where she works.

The BC CDC has a dashboard online for the epidemiology of the disease. What I thought was interesting was the distribution by age. The highest being 50-59, then 30-39. Even children are not immune.

You then have to compare this with the distribution of age of the population as a whole. The below is from stats Canada.

So then I was curious about Ontario’s COVID epidemiology. Their dashboard is not as nice looking. Here’s Ontario’s age distribution split by gender, and excluding patients residing in long term care homes. It’s listed by percent of population in that demographic. The percent of population graph isn’t easy to read. But here in Ontario the highest number of positive cases are females aged 50-59, but it also seems like more females get tested than males. This makes it difficult to assess whether females just get tested more, or if more of them are actually getting ill.

Either way, as businesses in Toronto started to reopen in phase 2, the Ford government encouraged businesses to have a sign in sheet, as a means of contact tracing. It will mean ensuring our clients who are coming into the building all have an account with us, so we can track people electronically.

During COVID-19 restrictions in the veterinary world, many clinics took a conservative approach, limiting the number of pets coming in, and limiting the use of resources that could be needed in human medicine (sedative medications, surgical masks and gloves, for example). Other clinics did not slow down with the number of pets that were coming through the doors. So far, our clinic has not gone to our pre-COVID operation hours, despite as part of phase 1 reopening, regular veterinary visits were allowed. This may actually be a function of not having enough staff. We have been short an RVT since I started working there. Saturdays are overwhelming for me. Mainly because I have to be the technician and the doctor, as well as manage the staff - I'm just lucky that our interim hospital manager comes in on Saturdays to give us a hand - but this means she is working 6 days a week between her two hospitals.

Starting July 7th, Toronto will be enforcing a new by-law that will make wearing masks indoors mandatory. Remember my post on whether we should wear masks - it serves to protect the people around you. This means that if everyone is trying to protect everyone else, fewer people get sick. So, it makes sense to do so, otherwise we will be having a second wave. I suspect that when children go back to school, this is when the second wave will swing through, just as influenza does, by bringing everyone into close quarters during the winter months. Time will tell. But until then, I'll be wearing my mask!

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