2021-07-09 BC

Excess Deaths

As you might recall, there was a report that I talked about at length in the 2021-07-05 BC blog post which said that the BC COVID-19 death rate was higher than reported. Now, every jurisdiction’s COVID-19 death rate is going to be higher than reported. (There will be some COVID-19 deaths which got missed, but there probably won’t be any deaths that weren’t COVID-19 which will get counted as COVID-19.)

There is some talk that BC undercounted by more, and hence should not be so smug about how much better BC handled the pandemic than other jurisdictions.

This tweet references this graph (which apparently came from the Globe & Mail, which is paywalled) which says that BC did not actually handle the pandemic that much better than other provinces:

There are a lot of uncertainties in estimating the death rate. One thing we could do to double-check is to look at is seroprevalence, but the data is strange there. StatCan says that BC had a seroprevalence of 1.6% compared to 2.5% for Ontario from samples which were mostly collected in January and February 2021 (as I mentioned in the 2021-07-06 BC blog posting and at length in the 2021-07-07 General blog posting); this study from Action to Beat Coronavirus said that BC and Ontario both had seroprevalence between 5 and 6% (as I mentioned in the 2021-07-03/4/05 blog posting), but the study was not more specific. If we trust the StatCan numbers, then yes, BC significantly better than Ontario, Quebec, or Alberta. If we trust the Action to Beat Coronavirus study, then BC’s seroprevalence is about the same.

One statistic which would be difficult to miscount is hospitalizations. The BC Situation Report for the week ending 26 June 2021 says that there had been 8,021 COVID-19 hospitalizations in BC, or 1,573 per million residents. From the 25 June 2021 Ontario Daily Epidemiological Summary , there have been 27,643 cases ever hospitalized in Ontario, or 1,897 per million residents – 21% more than BC. That’s significant but not overwhelming. As of 8 July 2021, Alberta has has 9,648 hospitalizations, or 2207 per million — 40% more than BC. I couldn’t find Quebec stats from around 25 June, but I did find this table from Feb. which said that ON and QC had about 1.5x as many cumulative hospitalizations per capita as BC and MB and SK had about 2x the number of hospitalizations per capita.

Looking at the country death rates from the graph above, Germany looks wrong. From Google, Canada has had 26,401 deaths on a population of 37.6M (702 per million), while Germany has had 91,197 deaths on a population of 83M (1098 per million, or about 1.5x Canada’s rate). I don’t know what the units on the grey bars is supposed to be, but Germany should not be lower than Canada. The US’s confirmed death rate is 2.6x Canada’s.

For giggles, here’s a table of confirmed deaths per capita for a number of countries:

confirmed deathspopulation(M)deaths/M% of Canada

Bottom line: BC can still be a little bit smug compared to the other big Canadian, provinces but not a lot smug. BC can be smug relative to a most of the other big Western countries, but not all of them. Many Asian countries and the island countries are doing much better.


Today: +45 cases, +0 deaths (yay!), +7,265 first doses, +61,568 second doses (with 628 AZ).

Currently 73 in hospital / 19 in ICU, 661 active cases, 145,594 recovered.

first dosesecond dose
of eligible78.7%41.3%
of all BCers71.5%37.6%

We have 998,867 doses in fridges; we’ll use it up in 15.8 days at last week’s rate. We’ve given more doses than we’d received by 16 days ago.

We have 933,413 mRNA doses in fridges; we’ll use it up in 14.8 days at last week’s rate. We’ve given more doses than we’d received by 15 days ago.

We have 65,454 AZ doses in fridges; we’ll use it up in 142 days at last week’s rate.