COVID-19 cases continued to climb in the Terrace area during the holidays.
Kitselas First Nation is experiencing a cluster of cases, the Nisga’a Nation has seen cases increase since mid-December and Kitsumkalum First Nation is on high alert. The situation for Terrace itself is not as clear — Northern Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) have not provided updated case numbers for Terrace since Dec. 26.
There are 10 active cases in the Kitselas cluster, according to a video update posted on the Kitselas Emergency Response Division Facebook page Dec. 31. All Kitselas offices are closed until further notice, according to an information bulletin issued by Kitselas Band Council on Jan. 3, and some Kitselas office workers were affected by the cluster of cases.
Don Roberts, chief councillor of Kitsumkalum First Nation, released a letter Dec. 31 noting the cluster in Kitselas and asking all Kitsumkalum members to follow provincial health orders, and, particularly, to avoid social gatherings.
The Nisga’a Nation reported a resurgence of cases in a news release on Dec. 3o. There are currently 31 active cases and 2 recovered associated with the current cluster of cases as of Jan. 3, according to the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority. The nation had previously eased pandemic safety restrictions on Dec. 11, when cases in the valley seemed to be declining following a spike in cases late November.
The most recent information on COVID-19 cases for Terrace itself comes from the BCCDC and Northern Health. That data shows 31 cases among residents of the Terrace area (which includes Kitselas and Kitsumkalum) between Dec. 20 and Dec. 26. For that time period, Terrace had one of the highest average daily rate of cases per 100,000 people, rivalling only Surrey, Abbotsford, Burns Lake and Revelstoke.
The BCCDC published more recent COVID-19 case numbers for the northwest district of Northern Health’s coverage area. That data shows 55 new cases reported between Dec. 25 and Dec. 31 for the northwest district, which stretches from Kitimat to Haida Gwaii to the B.C./Yukon border. However, that data may be inaccurate, according to a note posted next to the data on the BCCDC website.
“A data discrepancy has been identified in Northern Health case counts. The data will be corrected and updated in the next refresh on Jan. 7,” the note reads.