For this exercise we will be using the Government of B.C. released data of COVID-19: Hospitalization Risk and do a deep dive in to where everyone fits amongst the risk groups.
The data was released in the COVID-19 updated on January 21, 2022 and consists of Preliminary Analysis of Cases Dec 14 – Jan 6 (Hospitalizations up to Jan 10). Available for the public to see here.
COVID-19: Hospitalization Risk
The report found out of 49,713 confirmed COVID-19 cases (Dec 14- Jan 6) there was only 606 hospitalizations. The current risk factor here with out any break downs of risk groups is 1.2%. This is already a low figure, especially when we compare it to the hospitalization rates of 6.2% for the dates between Sept 30 – Oct 27 (before Omicron). See page 2 of the report.
When we begin to break down the risk groups it reveals another story.
What puts a person at risk?
In the next section on page 3, it is confirmed age plays a major role in the risk factor. The largest group at risk of hospitalizations is of course the usual suspects, elderly people. The numbers they use are comparing all age group about the age of 20 to the group between 5 to 19 years of age.
- Age 80+:
- Unvaccinated they are 28.4 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to age group 5 to 19
- 1 dose provides a -2.8 which brings us to 25.6 time more likely to be hospitalized
- 2 doses provides a -4.2 which brings us to
- Age 70 to 79: Unvaccinated they are 15 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to age group 5 to19
- Age 60 to 69: Unvaccinated they are 8.5 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to age group 5 to19
- Age 50 to 59: Unvaccinated they are 7.7 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to age group 5 to19
- Age 40 to 49: Unvaccinated they are 5.5 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to age group 5 to19
- Age 20 to 39: Unvaccinated they are 4.4 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to age group 5 to19
Other factors also play a role in here and can add to the likelihood of hospitalization.
Conditions that add to the likelihood of hospitalization
- Transplant recipient +4.3
- Chronic neurological conditions: +3.2
- Pregnancy +2.8
- Diabetes mellitus +2.2
- Respiratory diseases +2.2
- Heart conditions +2.2
Hospitalization by Risk Categories
On page 4 we get a breakdown from the models for 2 select date ranges. Models between (Sept 30 – Oct 27) and (Dec 14 – Jan 6). The data provided shows the risk has gone down dramatically.
“The risk of hospitalization among confirmed cases is much lower in the current wave compared to before, even among the population at high risk of hospitalization from COVID-19.”
The very high risk group, the people with multiple other conditions that contribute to mpre serious illness in the newer modeling shows 9.1% chance of hospitalization compared to the giant 58.3% back in October 2021
High risk groups dropped from 14.7% to as low as 2.3%
The medium risk groups also show a drop in the hospitalization rates from 2.3% in October 2021 to 0.9% in the Dec 14, 2021 to Jan 06, 2022 model.
As for the majority of the population in B.C. that is in the low to very low risk group is close to the same from 0.4% in October 2021 to 0.3% in Dec 14, 2021 to Jan 06, 2022 model.
“Omicron is causing less serve illness in most people” said Bonnie Henry during the presentation “the challenge of course we have is omicron is infecting many more people”
The low hospitalization rates still translates to much more people in hospital only because it infects a larger number of people. After nearly 2 year since the start of the pandemic billions of dollars has been thrown at the healthcare system but we have even less workers now than at the start. The bed capacity limits still haven’t increased much at all.
There is no transparency for the spending of the pandemic money and we really need the health officials and Governments to release these numbers.
To make sense of the population is in each risk group we will take a look at the data on page 5.
The percentages for the very low risk group by age is as followed. These are people with no other compromising contributors.
The data supplied in this next part with the population break down is based on the delta variant not Omicron. Keep in mind Omicron is much milder.
B.C. Population with very low risk and low risk of hospitalization
The B.C. population broken down by age group. The very low risk group has a 0.3% chance of hospitalization. The low risk group has a 0.8% chance of hospitalization.
- Under 20 years of age 97% (954,135.65 People) is very low risk. 2% is low risk. (19,672.9 People)
- 20 to 39 years of age 70% (1,025,119.9 People) is very low risk. 11% is low risk (161,090.27 People)
- 40 to 59 years of age 23% (316,569.93 People) is very low risk 56% is low risk (770,778.96 people)
- 60 to 79 years of age 9% (103,237.38 People) is very low risk 60% is low risk (688,249.2 People)
- 80+ years of age 27% are low risk (65,672.1 People)
B.C. Population with Medium risk of hospitalization
The B.C. population broken down by age group. Medium risk group has 2.2% chance of hospitalization.
- Under 20 years of age 1%. (9,836.45 People)
- 20 to 39 years of age 17% (248,957.69 People)
- 40 to 59 years of age 18% (247,750.38 People)
- 60 to 79 years of age 21% (240,887.22 People)
- 80+ years of age 34% (82,698.2 People)
B.C. Population with High risk of hospitalization
The B.C. population broken down by age group. High risk group has 9.1% chance of hospitalization.
- Under 20 years of age less than 1%. (9,836.45 People)
- 20 to 39 years of age 2% (29,289.14 People)
- 40 to 59 years of age 3% (41,291.73 People)
- 60 to 79 years of age 10% (114,708.2 People)
- 80+ years of age 39% (94,859.7 People)
Using data from Stats Canada, Release date: 2021-09-29 the total population in B.C was 5,214,805 people.
- Population in B.C. for ages 0 to 19 years of age there is a population of 983,645
- Population in B.C. for ages 20 to 39 is 1,464,457 people
- Population in B.C. for ages 40 to 59 is 1,376,391 people
- Population in B.C. for ages 60 to 79 is 1,147,082 people
- Population in B.C. for ages 80+ is 243,230 people
Percentage of the B.C. population in each risk group
4,104,521 people are in the very low risk and low risk group. 78.7% of the population
830,128 people are in the medium risk group. 15.9% of the population
289,713 people are in the high risk group 5.5% of the population
Who is at more risk based on at-risk conditions, age and vaccine status
On page 6 they supply us a risk list of the ages broken down in a table chart showing contributing risk factors and vaccination status. Bonnie Henry admits less than 1% risk factor is very low and nothing to worry about. “even older people vaccinated with 3 doses of vaccine, your risk of having severe enough illness that need hospitalization is negligible. It’s under 1% so that’s important and it’s really good news” Henry explains.
“Researchers found that 25 percent of household contacts exposed to a fully vaccinated person in the household contracted an infection themselves. Of those exposed to an unvaccinated household member, 23 percent contracted an infection. “Breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people can efficiently transmit infection in the household setting,” wrote the study authors. Researchers suspect this has to do with the coronavirus replicating similarly in vaccinated and unvaccinated people — at least at the start of the infection. As part of the study, researchers also measured the viral load — how much virus is in the body — of people who contracted an infection. The peak viral load was similar for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. It was also similar for people with an infection with different variants.”
We have already hit peak cases according to data on the BCCDC COVID-19 Epidemiology App. It’s possible we will see peak hospitalizations in the next week or two from what they call the lag indicator.
78.7% of the B.C. population is in the very low risk (0.8% chance of hospitalization) to low risk (0.3% chance of hospitalization) where the medium risk group makes up 15.9% (2.2% chance of hospitalization) and the high risk a small 5.5% (9.7% chance of hospitalization).
We have seen a decoupling of cases to hospitalization rates. The amount of people hospitalized compared to the cases is dramatically lower.
The vaccine seems to be working for reducing symptoms and preventing serious illness but the vaccines still do not prevent transmission or infection. They do however reduced the amount of days you are infectious by a couple days. One persons vaccine status doesn’t lower or heighten the risk for someone else to be around them, what matters is if someone is infectious or not.
The implementation of the vaccine passports and mandates from the Government and unelected health officials were to “protect” a total 28,102 people which makes up 0.54% of the B.C. population.
The severe illnesses will be going down more now that Health Canada finally approved the first COVID-19 antiviral drug for at home use.
All the the data used and supplied by the Government of B.C. is skewed for this exercise because it is based off the Delta variant and not that of the Omicron variant which is much milder when it comes to severity.
Severity of Omicron is much milder than Delta.
Reported by Reauters
“However, while case numbers have surged to all-time records, the hospitalisation and death rates are often lower than at other phases in the pandemic. “What we are seeing now is….the decoupling between the cases and the deaths,”
Reported by NY Times
“Omicron has changed the calculation. Because it is milder than earlier versions of the virus, Covid now appears to present less threat to most vaccinated elderly people than the annual flu does. (…) Omicron’s apparent mildness means that, for an individual, Covid increasingly resembles the kind of health risk that people accept every day.”