The BC CDC has released COVID-19 case counts for Local Health Areas for Jan. 9-15, 2022. Photo courtesy BC CDC.

The BC CDC has released COVID-19 case counts for Local Health Areas for Jan. 9-15, 2022. Photo courtesy BC CDC.

Omicron wave arrives in the Kootenays

The Omicron wave has arrived in the Kootenays.

Cranbrook reported 237 COVID-19 cases between Jan. 9-15, as other municipalities in the region also posted pandemic highs, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. Kimberley reported 57 cases, while Nelson reported 232 cases, both record highs, respectively.

Curiously, Fernie went from 263 cases between Jan 2-8, to only 60 cases between Jan. 9-15, reflecting a significant drop.

Cranbrook and Nelson both had a test-positivity rate of 43 per cent between Jan. 11-17, according to the BC Regional Surveillance dashboard. Kimberley had a 42 per cent test positivity rate in the same time frame, while Fernie had a 35 per cent test positivity rate.

In terms of vaccination progress, Cranbrook is sitting at 84 per cent in the 12-plus age category, however, age gaps remain. For example, the 18-49 age range is only at 79 per cent for two doses. In the 12-17 age range, 70 per cent have two doses and in the 5-11 age range, only 38 per cent have had a first dose.

It’s a similar story in Kimberley, however, rates are higher there.

For the 12-plus category, Kimberley is at 89 per cent with two doses. Breaking that down, the 18-49 age range is at 85 per cent for two doses, while the 12-17 age range is at 89 per cent for two doses and the 5-11 age range is at 52 per cent for one dose.

The BC CDC also released the weekly situation report on Wednesday, with data broken down by health authority.

Between Jan. 2-8, there were 14,081 COVID-19 cases in the province, and 2,137 in Interior Health.

Provincially, there were 261 hospitalizations for COVID-19, 36 of which were in Interior Health. Fraser Health had the highest at 140.

There were 37 admissions into critical care over the week across the province, six of which were in Interior Health. Again, Fraser Health had the most at 17.

The province also reported 18 deaths, one of which was in Interior Health.