Researchers at the University of Guelph studying the impact of the COVID-19 on the Canadian medical system have found the number of new cases continuing to climb among people under the age of 20 in Ontario.
While the infection curves were flattening for other age groups in the province, the numbers of daily new cases for people under 20 were still rising, especially in the Toronto and Peel regions.
Currently, Toronto, Peel region have more than half of Ontario’s new COVID-19 infections
Under federal funding last month from the Alliance COVID-19 grant program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the team uses artificial intelligence models to collect and analyze data on regional coronavirus infection levels, along with demographic and behavioural information.
Key findings of the study
The study found that for people under 20:
Outside of Toronto and Peel, there were about eight cases of COVID-19 reported each day through the first half of April. That number declined to about six per day by the end of May.
In both Peel and Toronto, cases continued to climb. In Peel, cases rose from about two per day in mid-April to about nine by the end of May. Over the same period, Toronto cases have risen from about four per day to more than 10.
For people between the ages of 20 and 29, the study found:
Public health units outside of Toronto and Peel recorded a rapid increase in cases through early March, reaching nearly 30 per day by mid-April. Daily cases then declined to about 20 by the end of May.
In Toronto, cases in this age group rose more gradually, to about 20 per day by May 1. Cases leveled off slightly to about 18 by the end of May. Peel region saw an even more gradual increase since March, as numbers of daily cases reached more than 20 and continued to rise at the end of May.
This could also be a combination of good summer weather and the irresistible urge for young teens and children to spend time outdoors and do what is natural- hang out with their friends.
It is easy to forget the rules around social distancing and hygiene practices when young people are out and about, especially on playgrounds or eating out.