Peel Region Paramedic Ryan Kingsborough, administers a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a pop up clinic at the Muslim Neighbour Nexus Mosque, in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, April 29, 2021. 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

Peel Region Paramedic Ryan Kingsborough, administers a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a pop up clinic at the Muslim Neighbour Nexus Mosque, in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, April 29, 2021. 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 third wave

Among people under 60, hospitalizations and ICU admissions went way up

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. The province also said last week 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 per cent of deaths of people 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 case loads 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.

The COVID-Zero approach: Why Atlantic Canada excels at slowing the spread of COVID-19

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Accused drug trafficker to plead to federal, provincial charges in June

Matthew Straume said he’d missed his last court date because he was ill

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Rossland City Council issued a press release critical of Mayor Kathy Moore's travel to the U.S.
Rossland council addresses issue of mayor’s travel to U.S.

Prior to her trip, some councillors and staff expressed deep concerns about her plans

Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks sex crimes trial adjourned until summer

The trial was set to begin at the city courthouse Wednesday, May 5

Photo: Kathleen Saylors
Grand Forks city council votes down motion to support Penticton in paramountcy battle

Coun. Neil Krog insisted Penticton’s issue with Victoria is about city bylaws, not homelessness

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read