Central Okanagan COVID-19 numbers continuing to inch up

COVID-19 cases from Nov. 17 to 23. Courtesy: BCCDC

COVID-19 case numbers in the Central Okanagan continued on an upward trajectory for the second week in a row, following several months of steadily dropping.

The BC Centre for Disease Control’s latest map illustrating COVID-19 cases by local health area shows that for the week of Nov. 7 to 13, there were 227 new cases diagnosed in the Central Okanagan, which is a 20 per cent rise from the 181 cases reported a week earlier.

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The rising number of new cases in the Central Okanagan was driven largely by the spread of the disease in West Kelowna and rural areas, according to another set of data from the BC CDC.

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In the most recent update, week-over-week infection rates declined in Penticton, from 18 to 15, and in Vernon, from 85 to 75.

COVID-19 vaccination rates have changed little in recent weeks.

The highest is in the Glenmore area of Kelowna at 93 per cent, while it’s 90 per cent in the Okanagan Mission area of Kelowna, 88 per cent in Penticton and 86 per cent in Vernon.

Enderby is still lagging behind with 73 per cent.

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Last week, Health Canada has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11, the department announced Friday.

This means elementary school children will be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Previously, only kids aged 12 and up were eligible.

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The vaccine will require two doses of 10 micrograms each for kids aged five to 11 — one-third of the dose for adults. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is recommending the two doses be spaced eight weeks apart.

Canada began receiving shipments of the doses for young children on Sunday, Public Services and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi announced Friday. All of the 2.9 million doses ordered will be received by the end of the week.

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