New COVID-19 cases fell considerably across most of the West Boundary and Kootenays last week, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC).
The centre’s latest numbers, released Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 15, break the regional trend towards staggering increases in viral transmission that set in late last month, when new cases were over three times as high in some local health areas (LHAs).
Wednesday’s numbers cover new cases reported in the week of Sept. 5-11. By per cent, the biggest case drop was in the Arrow Lakes LHA, where cases fell 75 per cent from two weeks ago to the end of last week. In the same time, new cases dropped by 52 and 50 per cent in the Kettle Valley (i.e. West Boundary and Big White) and Creston’s LHAs; 44 per cent in Kimberley’s; roughly 30 per cent in Grand Forks’ and Creston’s; 20 per cent in Cranbrook’s and Fernie’s and roughly seven per cent in Nelson’s.
New cases meanwhile went up by 50 and five per cent in the Castlegar and Trail LHAs.
In terms of absolute numbers, case counts by LHA shifted week-over-week according to the following breakdown, in descending order of case reductions.
• Cranbrook: 14 fewer cases (from 68 to 54)
• Grand Forks and the Kettle Valley (incl. Big White): 13 fewer cases (from 45 to 32; from 25 to 12)
• Creston: 7 fewer cases (from 24 to 17)
• Kimberley: 4 fewer cases (from nine to five)
• Nelson and Arrow Lakes: 3 fewer cases (from 44 to 41; four to one)
These numbers do not include new cases reported after the BC Vaccine Card system came into effect Monday, Sept. 13.
The system requires everyone in the province to show proof of having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before accessing non-essential services from this Monday until Oct. 24, when people will need to show they’ve been fully vaccinated.
Basic immunization levels remained relatively constant throughout both regions in the same period, according to the BC CDC’s COVID Surveillance Dashboard.
In descending order of over-12s with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the breakdown by LHA looks like this as of Sept. 13:
• Trail: 85 per cent
• Kimberley: 84 per cent
• Fernie: 80 per cent
• Castlegar and Cranbrook: 79 per cent
• Grand Forks: 76 per cent
• Nelson and Arrow Lakes: 75 per cent
• Creston: 70 per cent
• Kettle Valley (incl. Big White): 68 per cent