There were 58 new COVID-19 cases reported in Smithers between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

There were 58 new COVID-19 cases reported in Smithers between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

New COVID-19 cases dip in Smithers between Oct. 10 and 16

The local health region reported 58 new cases for the latest reporting period

New COVID-19 cases dipped in the Smithers Local Health Area between Oct. 10 and Oct 16 from 73 the previous week to 58.

The average daily rate per 100,000 population remains high at 45 amid surging numbers across the Northern Health Region except for Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii LHAs. Daily rate may not perfectly align with new cases as the reporting periods are slightly different.

This week, Northern Health also reported an outbreak at Bulkley Valley District Hospital where four people contracted the virus, one of whom has died.

The health authority is testing and monitoring for possible additional cases at the hospital and has implemented visitor restrictions and more stringent mitigation practices.

READ MORE: Four cases, one death associated with COVID-19 outbreak at Smithers hospital

During the latest reporting period Terrace supplanted Smithers as hotspot of the northwest reporting more new cases than any other LHA with 71, a significant jump for the second straight week.

Kitimat saw a decrease from 18 to 16 new cases and Prince Rupert’s number of new cases dropped from 15 to 13, according to the latest British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) data.

Every LHA in Northern Health reported an average daily case rate of greater than 20 per 100,000 people except for Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii at 10.1 to 15 cases per 100,000 and 0.1 to five per 100,000, respectively.

There was one new case on Haida Gwaii and nine in the Nisga’a LHA.

The BCCDC figures for cases in the Nass Valley may differ from the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority’s statistics because of differences in the way those organizations report cases.

There were nine new cases in the aggregated Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek LHA, amid an outbreak in Tahltan communities.

There were 24 new cases in the Upper Skeena LHA. Farther east, there were 17 new cases in Burns Lake, 61 in Nechako and 286 in Prince George.

According to the BCCDC, Kitimat has hit 87 per cent of eligible people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — the only LHA in Northern Health higher than the province-wide average of 83.4 per cent on Oct. 20.

Two-dose vaccination percentages by northwest LHA (per cent change from the previous week is indicated by brackets):

Kitimat – 87 per cent (+2)

Haida Gwaii – 82 per cent (+0)

Nisga’a – 80 per cent (+2)

Prince Rupert – 79 per cent (+1)

Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek – 78 per cent (+1)

Terrace – 76 per cent (+1)

Upper Skeena – 73 per cent (+0)

Smithers – 69 per cent (+2)

Province-wide, the vaccination rate for people aged 12 and older with second doses reached 83.4 per cent.

Northern Health is booking appointments and offering drop-in clinics for first and second doses.

READ MORE: MD Update: There are reasons behind the measures

The Healthy Living Centre on Main Street in Smithers is open this afternoon (Oct. 21) between 1 and 4 p.m. for appointments and drop-ins for both first and second shots.

There will also be clinics Oct 26- 28, Nov. 17-18 and Nov. 23-25 at the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3;45 p.m.

On the following dates people will also be able to get a flu shot: Nov. 2, 4, 9, 12-13 and 16 at Dze L K’ant.

For more information or to book an appointment, visit the Northern Health website or call 1-833-838-2323.

With files from Tom Fletcher and Thom Barker

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