New COVID-19 cases in the Smithers Local Health Area continued to decline during the latest reporting period.
The LHA reported 12 cases between Nov. 28 and Dec. 4, down from 27 the previous week, the lowest the area (Houston to Witset) has seen in months).
There were no new COVID-19 cases in the Nisga’a local health area (LHA) for the second straight week, while Terrace continues to lead the northwest in new cases.
Terrace recorded 56 new cases between Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, Kitimat had 19, and there were eight in Prince Rupert, according to British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) data.
There were three new cases on Haida Gwaii and zero in the Nisga’a LHA for the second week in a row. There were two new cases in the Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek LHA.
The BCCDC figures for cases in the Nass Valley may differ from the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority’s (NVHA) statistics because of differences in the way those organizations report cases.
Kitimat remains the most vaccinated LHA in the northwest, with 96 per cent of people 12 years-old and up with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The Dec. 7 two-dose list below has the per cent change from the previous week in brackets:
Kitimat – 96 per cent (+1)
Nisga’a – 88 per cent (+1)
Haida Gwaii – 86 per cent (+1)
Prince Rupert – 85 per cent (+1)
Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek – 83 per cent (+0)
Terrace – 82 per cent (+0)
Upper Skeena – 79 per cent (+0)
Smithers – 76 per cent (+1)
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 59 per cent of cases, out of the 12 per cent of B.C. residents aged 12 and older who are not fully vaccinated. From Nov. 23 to Dec. 6, they accounted for 67.5 per cent of hospitalizations in B.C.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a Dec. 7 press conference that the province has now reported a total of five cases of the new Omicron variant.
Of the cases, three have been fully vaccinated with three different COVID-19 vaccine regimes, while two were unvaccinated. One was discovered last week, while four were announced Tuesday.
Henry said that all five cases have involved international travel and that their level of illness has been mild to asymptomatic. The people who tested positive were between the ages of 18 and 60.
However, the province has more cases that are suspected to be Omicron.
“Once we start to look for it, it’s likely we are going to find it,” Henry said.
The provincial health officer also said she does not intend to add more restrictions apart from the existing ones for the holiday season.
— With files from Tom Fletcher & Katya Slepian