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COVID-19: Vernon sees drop in new infections as Kelowna’s case count rises

The BCCDC map of COVID-19 cases by Local Health area for Sept. 19 to 25. BCCDC

Many Okanagan cities saw slightly increased COVID-19 case counts last week, according to the latest data on local health areas from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

In the period from Sept. 19 to 25, the BCCDC reported that the Central Okanagan had 278 cases, which amounts to an average of 39.7 cases a day.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 cases spiking among children'
COVID-19 cases spiking among children

It’s an eight-per cent increase from the week before when there were 257 cases. A week earlier, from Sept. 5-11, there were 360 cases and in the week before that, there were 478 cases.

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Penticton’s COVID-19 caseload rose slightly in the same timeframe, to 69 from 53 the week earlier.

Read more: COVID-19: 41 schools with exposures in Interior Health as reporting resumes

Similarly, Kamloops reported 219 cases, which is a rise of 38 per cent from the 158 cases reported in the most recent week.

While some Okanagan cities are struggling to keep numbers in check, it seems conditions may be improving in the North Okanagan.

Click to play video: 'Growing pressure on B.C. government to use COVID-19 rapid testing in schools'
Growing pressure on B.C. government to use COVID-19 rapid testing in schools

Last week, Vernon had 56 cases from Sept. 19 to 25, compared to the 112 it had a week earlier and the 165 reported during the week before that.

Read more: Vancouver School Board makes masks mandatory for K-12 students

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Case counts are still being linked to vaccination rates, which vary significantly around the Okanagan.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 28, 87.9 per cent of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 80.8 per cent have received their second dose.

The BC Centre for Disease Control said numbers are lower in the Okanagan. As of Sept. 27, the Central Okanagan is reporting 85 per cent of its population age 12 and over having had a first dose, Penticton has 85 per cent of the population with one dose and Vernon Centre Coldstream 83 per cent.

Smaller communities tend to see lower rates.

In Enderby, for example, only 69 per cent of the population over the age of 12 have received one vaccination for COVID-19.

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