The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Terrace local health area (LHA) remained level at 20 cases during the week of March 6 to March 12, the same number as the week before.
Nisga’a and Haida Gwaii LHAs registered the lowest number in the northwest with one new case each, according to British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) data.
There were three new cases in Kitimat, six in Prince Rupert, nine in Smithers and five in the Upper Skeena LHA. The Snow Country - Stikine - Telegraph Creek 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 now available at pharmacies for people 40 and over, 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 leading the region with 57 per cent of people aged 12 and up with three doses. As of March 8, all northwest LHAs have a third dose rate ranging from 44 per cent to 57 per cent.
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.
The province is launching an independent review of B.C.’s pandemic response, which it says will help inform preparations and responses to future public health emergencies.
Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth has appointed an independent project team to review the province’s pandemic response from January 2020 into 2022.
However, the scope of the review excludes an assessment of economic recovery and public policy decisions made by the government to deal with the consequences of the pandemic and decisions made by the provincial health Officer
“This review will, however, look at how these decisions were made,” the province said in a news release.
—With files from Cole Schisler