Confirmed COVID-19 case sounds in the Kamloops local health area have risen in the past two reporting weeks — with the most recent data showing more new cases locally than that found in the Kelowna area.
According to data from the BC Centre for Disease Control, there were 226 cases in the local health area between Sept. 26 and Oct. 2. The week before, there were 219 cases, with 158 cases tabulated the week before that.
The 226 cases in the Kamloops local health compare to the 223 cases recorded in the Central Okanagan local health area, which includes Kelowna.
Until now, the Central Okanagan had been recording the most cases of any Interior Health local health area.
In all of 2020, the Kamloops local health area recorded 346 confirmed cases, which accounted for about eight per cent of all cases in Interior Health last year.
The Kamloops local health area has a population of about 117,500 and encompasses an area of 16,500 square kilometres, including Kamloops, Little Fort, Barriere, Sun Peaks, Chase, Westwold, Adams Lake, Anglemont, Savona and Logan Lake.
Elsewhere in Interior Health during the week of Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, there were 90 cases in Cranbrook, 64 cases in Vernon, 31 cases in Nelson, 60 cases in Salmon Arm, two cases in Revelstoke, 43 cases in Merritt and four cases in North Thompson.
Interior Health is a massive area that stretches from the B.C.-Alberta border in the east to the Chilcotin in the west, and from just north of Williams Lake in the north to the Canada-U.S. border in the south.
Rising case counts across B.C. has have led to mask mandates for all indoor public spaces and the introduction of a vaccination certificate program.
Unvaccinated people are not permitted to attend various non-essential places, including restaurants, pubs, casinos, gyms, sporting events and concerts.
As of Oct. 6, there are 5,945 active cases in the province, with 2,349 in Fraser Health, 1,142 in Interior Health, 829 in Northern Health, 824 in Vancouver Coastal Health and 743 in Island Health.
As of Oct. 6, there are 350 people in hospital, 136 of whom are in intensive care. In Interior Health, there are 42 people in hospital, of whom 33 are in intensive care, according to BC Centre for Disease Control data.
Those numbers are likely higher since the province recently revealed patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 are removed from the list of COVID-19 patients once they are no longer infectious, even though they remain in hospital with ailments relating to contracting the disease.