High vaccination rates among seniors and more infectious variants of COVID-19 are shifting the weight of pandemic in Canada towards younger people. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

High vaccination rates among seniors and more infectious variants of COVID-19 are shifting the weight of pandemic in Canada towards younger people. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Hospitalizations, ICU admissions growing for younger Canadians in 3rd wave

Hospitalizations of people in their 20s and 30s have grown 40%, ICU admissions 57%

High vaccination rates among seniors and more infectious variants of COVID-19 are shifting the weight of the pandemic in Canada to younger people.

An analysis of data published online by Health Canada suggests far fewer seniors ended up in hospital with COVID-19 in April than during the second wave peak in January.

But among people under 60, hospitalizations and ICU admissions went way up.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam has said from the beginning of the pandemic that COVID-19 is riskier for the elderly, but that it can and does strike down the young as well.

Now with variants of COVID-19 spreading more easily, more people are getting infected, and the still rare severe outcomes for the young are happening more often.

“As a result it reaches many more people, resulting in, even if they’re rare events becoming more frequent,” she said. “So I do think that is a key aspect of why we’re seeing more younger individuals getting into hospitals … even rare events can be more common.”

Several tragic cases have been reported in the last week, including the heartbreaking death of 13-year-old Emily Viegas in Brampton, Ont., and the suspected COVID-19 death of 17-year-old Sarah Strate in Magrath, Alta. April 26.

British Columbia recorded its first death of a patient in their 20s last week. Last week, the province also said a child under two with pre-existing health complications had died from the virus.

As of April 23, eight people under 19 had died of COVID-19 in Canada, half of them since February. More than 40 percent of people’s deaths in their 20s, 30s and 40s also occurred since February.

For people in their 40s, more than half of all ICU admissions have taken place since February.

That the third wave is outpacing anything Canada has seen before is clear.

The average daily caseloads of COVID-19 in January peaked at around 8,100 cases, while in April it appears to have peaked at around 8700 cases.

Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and Nova Scotia all reported record one-day totals for COVID-19 cases in April, and Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. are also seeing record highs in hospitals and intensive care.

More than 1,400 people are in intensive care with COVID-19 in Canada right now, compared to the January peak of about 900 ICU patients.

And more of them are under the age of 70, said Tam.

“That’s what’s actually impacting the ICU capacity at the moment in a number of the provinces,” she said.

With more than eight in 10 people over 70 now vaccinated, severe outcomes are plummeting in that age group.

The number of people over 70 who died between March 26 and April 23 fell more than 77 per cent, while hospitalizations due to COVID-19 fell 44 per cent, and intensive care admissions fell 15 per cent.

Deaths among 50 to 70-year-olds also fell substantially — about 38 per cent — but the number of new hospitalizations for 50-year-olds was up by about 25 per cent, and hospitalization almost 40 per cent.

There were very small increases in deaths for people under 50, but for people in their 40s, hospitalizations grew 65 per cent and ICU admissions almost 60 per cent.

Hospitalizations of people in their 20s and 30s grew 40 per cent, while ICU admissions grew by about 57 per cent.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A screenshot of the pathway’s construction. (City of Kelowna)
Okanagan Rail Trail to be extended to downtown Kelowna waterfront

Construction of the pathway is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 10

Jason Townsend wearing his Kelowna Hells Angels prospect patches. (Jason Townsend/Facebook)
Crown stays domestic assault charges against Kelowna Hells Angels prospect

Jason Townsend, 43, was charged in August 2020 with assault and assault by choking

RCMP did not commit offense in arrest which seriously injured Lake Country man, finds IIO. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
Vernon police didn’t use excessive force in domestic takedown: Watchdog

‘One stepped on him and one had his knee in his neck,’ woman told IIO

Central Okanagan recorded 174 cases throughout the week of April 25 to May 1. (BCCDC/Contributed)
Weekly COVID-19 numbers continue to decrease in Central Okanagan

The Central Okanagan had 174 cases from April 25 to May 1

A fifth wheel fire came dangerously close to a Lake Country home Wednesday afternoon. (Lake Country Fire Department photo)
RCMP, neighbours save Lake Country house from fire

Fifth wheel up in flames next to home

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,000 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Salmon Arm Silverbacks forward Sullivan Mack gets a boost into West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick from Warriors forward Tyson Jugnauth during West Kelowna’s 5-4 B.C. Hockey League pod play win Wednesday, May 5, at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place. (Tami Quan Photography)
West Kelowna Warriors hold on to edge Silverbacks

Warriors up three with five minutes to go, give up two late goals but end up with 5-4 BCHL win over Salmon Arm

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

Most Read