The Central Okanagan has seen months of dwindling COVID-19 case numbers following being a pandemic hotspot for much of the summer but that improvement is not evenly distributed.
In recent weeks, case counts have started to spike in West Kelowna, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.
It publishes a map illustrating the average daily new-case-rate per 100,000 population, by local health area. In the week of Oct 29 – Nov 04, West Kelowna was awash in deep purple, making it a stand-out from neighbouring communities.
That means, like Okanagan COVID-19 problem-areas Enderby, Armstrong and Lumby, it is now contending with 15 to 20 new cases a day, per 100,000 population. Its present case rate is 16.
In contrast, Okanagan Mission has an average case rate of six, Downtown Kelowna has seven, and Lake Country and Glenmore have four. Even rural Central Okanagan, which includes Peachland and Joe Rich is seeing a case rate of 15, placing it in a lower category .
What that means for kids isn’t great. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has often said that school exposures are a reflection of what’s happening in the greater community. That appears to be the case in the Central Okanagan.
It currently accounts for seven of 11 public schools in the Central Okanagan school district with one or more COVID-19 exposures.
Interior Health did not respond by publication time to whether there was one or a series of events causing rising case counts in the area.
The good news, however, is that the virus continues to have fewer effects on younger British Columbians. From Oct. 26 to Nov. 2 there were 902 new COVID-19 cases among children 0 to 17, the province said Nov. 4.
Of those, just three ended up in the hospital and two in ICU. No children died in the past week from COVID.
The long-term overall modelling projects a continued surge in cases among those unvaccinated while showing cases among vaccinated individuals remaining steady.
B.C. has now hit a 90 per cent immunization rate of at least one dose for those eligible to get the shot.
In neighbourhoods like Glenmore, that number has been exceeded.