Unlike Lower Mainland, COVID-19 cases in Kamloops are decreasing

In the past two weeks, the Kamloops local health area has halved its case count from more than 100 cases per week in much of January and February. There is concern, though, that local numbers could rise if and when variant strains of the novel coronavirus arrive in the area.

While the number of COVID-19 cases rises each day provincewide, the number of confirmed cases in the Kamloops local health area has dropped dramatically from all-time highs in February.

The Kamloops local health area encompasses an area of 16,500 square kilometres, including Kamloops, Little Fort, Barriere, Sun Peaks, Chase, Westwold, Adams Lake, Anglemont, Savona and Logan Lake.

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In the latest weekly data, spanning from March 14 to March 20, there were 56 confirmed cases. A week before that, there were 42 cases. Prior to those weeks, the local health area had registered more than 100 cases in six of seven reporting weeks (see table below).

There is concern, though, that local numbers could rise if and when variant strains of the novel coronavirus arrive in the area.

“While we are in a different stage of our COVID-19 pandemic than where we have been before — safe and effective vaccines that are increasing the protection for all of us — we are facing a sustained increase in clusters of new cases and outbreaks, including increasing cases caused by variants of concern,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “This is particularly concerning in the Lower Mainland areas.”

The downward case trend in the Kamloops area is going the other way in the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver, which recorded the majority of the 908 new cases reported on Friday (March 26), the most recorded in a single day this year, preceded by 800 cases a day before.

Fraser Health accounted for most of the new cases reported on Friday, with 438. Elsewhere, there were 294 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 55 in Vancouver Island Health, 43 in Interior Health and 78 in Northern Health.

As of March 26, there are  6,245 active cases of coronavirus across the province, with 9,996 people being monitored and in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure.

In total, there have been 95,677 cases in B.C. (representing about two per cent of the province’s population of 5.1 million), with 87,866 deemed recovered to some extent. There have been a total of 1,449 deaths and 5,057 people hospitalized. There are currently 294 people in hospital in B.C. with COVID-19, of whom 81 are in critical care.

In Interior Health, there are 378 active cases and there have been a total of 8,258 cases in the region. There have been a total of 446 people hospitalized, with 15 currently being treated, four of whom are in critical care. There have been a total of 115 COVID-19-related deaths in Interior Health.

As of March 26, the province had administered 637,856 doses of vaccine, with about 100,000 of those entering the arms of residents in Interior Health. There have been 2.15-million COVID-19 tests taken in B.C. during the pandemic, though the province’s testing rate (413,000 per one-million residents) is well behind the testing rate nationally (710,000 per one-million residents).

By the numbers in the Kamloops local health region
COVID-19 cases:

2020: 346

Jan. 3-9: 62

Jan. 10-16: 97

Jan. 17-23: 124

Jan. 24-30: 117

Jan. 31-Feb. 6: 161

Feb. 7-Feb. 13: 116

Feb. 14-Feb. 20: 78

Feb. 21-Feb. 27: 124

Feb. 28-March 6: 100

March 7-March 13: 42

March 14-March 20: 56

The Kamloops local health area recorded 346 COVID-19 cases in 2020, accounting for about eight per cent of the total cases in Interior Health for the year. There were about 4,000 cases in the entire health region last year. The Kamloops local health area encompasses an area of 16,500 square kilometres, with a population of 117,500 and a population density of seven people per square kilometre.

© Kamloops This Week



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