A study co-authored by BC’s top doctor indicates that at least 70-80% of children and youth in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have been infected with COVID-19.
The study, which lists Dr Bonnie Henry among 13 authors, says that by contrast, 60-70% of adults aged 20-59 and about 40% of those aged 60 and over have been infected.
The preprint study, which has not been peer-reviewed and was published on the medRxiv website on September 9, was criticized by an advocacy group whose spokesperson called it “extremely damning of Henry’s own policies and assurances to the parents.
Dr. Lyne Filiatrault, speaking for Protect Our Province BC, a group of health professionals, scientists and advocates who say they want evidence-based policies, said the study shows a significant increase in infections occurring during the school year in children under ten.
“It’s basically about documenting how children got infected and not taking responsibility for misleading parents that schools were safe,” Filiatrault said Tuesday, adding that the spread of the virus in child care centers was a source of concern for parents.
The study says infection surveillance reports had underestimated true infection levels by 92 times between March and August.
The study indicates that the infection rate of all ages in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia rose from less than 15% to around 60% between October last year and August, while the highly infectious variant d’Omicron was installed.
It is based on 14,000 anonymized blood samples obtained between March 2020 and this August from a network of outpatient laboratories.
A Department of Health spokesperson said Henry is not expected to be available to comment on the study until Thursday at a press conference on modeling COVID-19 numbers.
Lead author Danuta Skowronski, an epidemiologist specializing in emerging respiratory pathogens at the BC Center for Disease Control, was also unavailable.
Filiatrault said one of the most shocking aspects of the study is the authors’ claim that infection levels, combined with vaccination, resulted in “more robust hybrid immunity.”
She said there had been a lack of recognition of the heavy toll the long COVID was taking on some children as well as parents who may have been infected by young people due to the lack of early action taken to mitigate the spread. in the classrooms.
Filiatrault said Henry’s assurances that COVID-19 spreads primarily in the community, not schools, did not match the reality of infections in children, and now that had been confirmed by results from the study.
“This study lays out, point-blank, what’s happened in this province, and it’s, essentially, extremely damning,” she said, adding that masks should be mandatory in schools.
“If we keep doing what we are doing, we are on a dangerous path. What happened was that children came home and infected their parents and their multi-generational families. And that affects the economy.
Kyenta Martins, who speaks for the parent-led group Safe Schools Coalition BC, said the study validates parents’ concerns about ventilation in schools
“A lot of people have been ringing the alarm bells. I’m one of many, and I hate that term, but (we’ve been) gassed, by Henry and many officials,” she said .
“There’s been information coming out all this time from different scientists, aerosol experts, studies, detailing what we’ve been saying, that schools are a place of transmission because you’re in close contact.”
Martins said she would like to know how school boards have spent federal money provided through the province to improve air quality, especially as COVID-19 cases are expected to rise this fall.
#Study #coauthored #BCs #top #doctor #children #youth #COVID19