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

Just Posted

Grade 12 graduates Jada Touchie, Timothy Masso and Brendan Brown are all smiles after receiving their Goodies for the Grads gift packs thanks to a small neighbourhood grant from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet Secondary School grads set to parade through town

Family and friends can cheer on the Class of 2021 this Saturday, June 19 at 4:30 p.m.

From left, Ahousaht First Nation Hereditary Chief Richard George presents a $10,000 cheque to Tofino Hatchery manager Doug Palfrey alongside Tyler Huebner of TCH Contracting The funds will go towards rebuilding Cypre river Chinook. (Carallyn Bowes photo)
Tofino Hatchery receives $10K donation

Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society tackling massive drop in Chinook salmon stocks

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

This rendering shows the potential layout for a 40-unit staff housing cooperative being proposed by the Pac Rim Home Development Cooperative in Ucluelet. (Image from www.prhdc.ca)
Pac Rim Cooperative pitches staff housing project in Ucluelet

“We’re looking at it as if it’s like a resort for employees”

A shot from within Leah McDiarmid’s new gallery shows a sneak peak at June 13’s opening exhibit. (Leah McDiarmid photo)
New gallery promises engaging experience in Tofino

Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art unveils inaugural exhibit on June 13

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Island harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water Ladysmith Harbour, none threatening

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
Island Health opening COVID-19 vaccine clinic to boost lagging Cowichan Lake numbers

Cowichan Valley West the only Island area under 60 per cent in adult first dose totals

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Most Read