The Okanagan’s COVID-19 summer hotspot is closing the season on a slightly cooler note.
Weeks of health orders limiting personal and public gatherings in the Central Okanagan along with a vaccine push appear to have improved the region’s once staggeringly high case counts.
According to the BCCDC’s latest map that shows where COVID-19 cases are occurring, in the week between Aug. 22 and Aug. 28, the Central Okanagan recorded 511 new cases.
Compare that to 737 the week of Aug. 15 to 21. Another way to look at it is an average of 73 a day versus 105 a day.
But while the region that spans the area between Peachland to Lake Country is seeing improvement, other areas aren’t so lucky.
In Vernon, there were 263 cases between Aug. 22 and 28, up from 133 new cases the week before. That’s a 97-per cent increase.
Similarly, Salmon Arm is also seeing increases. It had 93 new cases from Aug. 22 to 28 compared to 79 new cases the week earlier.
The South Okanagan has seen a rise in cases as well. Penticton had 69 cases in that week, up from 43 the week earlier. Keremeos reported 10, the Southern Okanagan municipalities had 53 and Kettle Valley had 18. They are much lower case counts but when weighed against the population it’s considered a high rate of infection.
Kamloops is reporting 249 new cases, up from 193 a week earlier. Throughout much of the Kootenays, the proportion of cases is now considered high, and numbers also appear to be climbing in northern B.C., where new restrictions were expected to be announced Thursday.
Earlier this week, when the most recent COVID-19 modelling was released, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province was facing a “pandemic of the unvaccinated and COVID-19 case rates continue to be higher in areas of the province where there are lower vaccination rates.
She also pointed out that cases were coming down in the Central Okanagan region, while the North Okanagan is having some challenges due to heat and wildfires waylaying vaccination clinics.View link »