There were 81 new COVID-19 cases during the week of Jan. 16 to Jan. 22, 2022. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

There were 81 new COVID-19 cases during the week of Jan. 16 to Jan. 22, 2022. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

Number of new COVID-19 cases drops in Terrace

Smithers reported 81 new cases between Jan. 16 and Jan. 22

The Terrace local health area (LHA) saw a drop to 81 new COVID-19 cases during the week of Jan. 16 to Jan. 22, compared to 116 the week before.

Smithers saw both the most significant decrease in northwest B.C., going from 293 to 131 new cases, according to British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) data.

There were 48 new cases in Kitimat, 70 in Prince Rupert, 23 on Haida Gwaii, 34 in the Upper Skeena LHA and 6 in the Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek LHA. The Nisga’a LHA recorded zero new cases.

Since the Omicron variant began spreading quickly in B.C., the completed tests represent a fraction of the actual infections, based on test positivity rates for the samples that have been processed. Rapid tests are being deployed in hospitals, care homes and schools to prompt isolation or further lab testing, which has also been reduced due to people working from home.

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 Jan. 25 list below, with weekly change from Jan. 18 indicated by brackets.

Haida Gwaii — 50 per cent (+2)

Nisga’a — 44 per cent (+1)

Kitimat — 43 per cent (+7)

Upper Skeena — 42 per cent (+3)

Terrace — 42 per cent (+3)

Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek — 42 per cent (+5)

Prince Rupert — 40 per cent (+6)

Smithers — 34 per cent (+4)

Results on booster vaccines from B.C., the U.S., Japan and South Korea is confirming the effectiveness of third doses of vaccine in preventing infection from the Omicron variant of COVID-19, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Tuesday.

Henry announced Jan. 25 that while the spread of infections continues to decline in B.C., the vaccine card for access to restaurants, fitness facilities and other indoor spaces is being extended to June 30, for people aged 12 and older. That date may be moved back if the infection situation in B.C. continues to improve.

“The BC vaccine card program is specifically designed to address and mitigate those risks that allow us to keep certain businesses and activities open during the period of the pandemic,” Henry said. “As we move through this period, it will, I expect, no longer be necessary. But right now, it is one of those important tools that we have.”

READ MORE: StatCan: COVID-19 the third leading cause of death in 2020

— With files from the Canadian Press and Tom Fletcher

COVID-19