As COVID-19 numbers in the Northwest increase, the colours on the BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) epidemiology mapping are brightening up from white to yellow and browns again, indicating the fourth wave of the pandemic infecting B.C. right up to the Yukon border.
While the mapping indicates just two cases in Terrace, two in Kitimat, none in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii up to July 31, drastic increases in the Okanagon and some lower mainland areas can be seen in the unvaccinated.
Seventy-eight per cent of people hospitalized from June 15 to July 15 were unvaccinated, according to the BCCDC data. Less than five per cent of COVID-19 cases occurred in those who were fully vaccinated.
More than 24 unvaccinated cases are fighting the virus from inside intensive care units with an additional 52 in hospital, as of Aug. 6. Three of the intensive care patients are in the Northern Health region.
On the same day, more than 446 new cases were announced by B.C. health officials, with 29 of those being in Northern Health areas creating a total of 88 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus. Throughout the province, there are more than 2,411 active cases.
Prince Rupert has experienced 826 cases of the respiratory virus since the start of the pandemic along with neighbouring communities of Haida Gwaii having 141, Terrace 797, Kitimat 215 and Nisga’a 197.
On July 27 the province ramped up its “Vaxxed to the Max” campaign which includes drop-in Wednesdays and will refocus vaccine efforts from mass clinics to programs targeting the hardest to reach people.
“In the weeks ahead, B.C.’s vaccine strategy will shift toward more local public health clinics, community outreach efforts, mobile programs and pop-up clinics. These will take place within specific communities and populations throughout the province, where the need is greatest,” the Ministry of Health stated.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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