FILE – A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Younger people with COVID now requiring longer hospital, ICU stays: Dr. Henry

Recent cases of people in their 30s and 40s ‘severely affected’ by the novel coronavirus

There’s been a “concerning” increase in the number of younger people ending up in hospital or intensive care due to COVID-19, B.C.’s top doctor said Monday (March 22).

According to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, while many of the older, more vulnerable British Columbians have now received their first dose of the vaccine, younger people remain at risk.

“What we’re seeing is that people in our community, younger age groups, requiring hospitalization and needing to be hospitalized for longer periods of time,” Henry said during a COVID-19 press conference where she reported nearly 1,800 cases and 15 deaths over the weekend. “It is those people who are now dying from this.”

So far, about 10.5 per cent of B.C.’s adult population has been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus – a percentage far below what’s needed for herd immunity and that is heavily skewed towards long-term care home residents, seniors and people in isolated communities.

“The risk for all of us remains high,” Henry said. “Younger people are ending up in the ICU and needing ICU care for a longer period of time.”

She noted that while the risk is still much higher for seniors and other older people, the younger people who are ending up in hospital are requiring more time in the ICU.

“We have seen several young people in their 30s and 40s who’ve unfortunately, tragically been severely affected by COVID.”

READ MORE: B.C.’s COVID-19 infections rate remains high, 15 deaths on weekend


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