The Terrace local health area (LHA) saw 20 new COVID-19 cases during the week of Feb. 27 to Mar. 5, down from 46 the week before.
The Snow Country - Stikine - Telegraph Creek LHA area registered the lowest number in the northwest with one new case, according to British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) data.
There were eight new cases in Kitimat, nine in Prince Rupert, 17 on Haida Gwaii, 13 in Smithers and five in the Upper Skeena LHA. The Nisga’a LHA recorded four new cases.
Access to testing remains limited across the province, so case counts are not representative of the full scope of COVID-19 infections in B.C. Rapid antigen tests are becoming more widely available, however positive rapid test results must be self-reported to the BCCDC to be counted in official statistics.
Third doses of COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed in clinics and pharmacies around the northwest, with Haida Gwaii and Nisga’a LHAs leading the region in percentage of people aged 12 and up with three doses. See the Mar. 8 list below, with weekly change from Mar. 1 indicated by brackets.
Haida Gwaii — 57 per cent (+0)
Nisga’a – 54 per cent (+1)
Kitimat – 53 per cent (+1)
Prince Rupert – 52 per cent (+0)
Terrace – 51 per cent (+0)
Snow Country - Stikine - Telegraph Creek – 48 per cent (+0)
Upper Skeena – 48 per cent (+0)
Smithers – 44 per cent (+0)
Vaccination rates in the province remain largely unchanged — 90.7 per cent of eligible British Columbians aged five and older have at least one dose of vaccine and 86.6 per cent have received their second dose. On booster doses, 58.2 per cent of eligible people have received their third dose.
Over the last week, fully vaccinated people have made up 81.3 per cent of new infections. Over the past two weeks, 69.6 per cent of people in hospital are fully vaccinated compared to 25.1 per cent who are unvaccinated.
Unvaccinated people are still far more likely to end up in hospital compared to people who are vaccinated, with rates of hospitalization at 27 per 100,000 in unvaccinated people compared to six per 100,000 in people who are fully vaccinated.
British Columbia’s public health officer is scheduled to hold a COVID-19 briefing today after indicating earlier this month that more restrictions could be lifted by mid-March.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said last week the province was better positioned to consider removing pandemic restrictions before students begin spring break.
She said hospitalization numbers were down, immunity from vaccines was up and more at-home rapid tests were being distributed.
But Henry has also said there was still a lot of the virus circulating in some parts of the province.
Unlike some other provinces, B.C. still requires masks in indoor public places and vaccine cards must be shown.
Ontario, for example, has already lifted all capacity limits and proof of vaccination, while it plans to end mask mandates in most places like restaurants on March 21.
—With files from the Canadian Press and Tom Fletcher