Terrace has led northwest B.C. in new COVID-19 cases for close to two months, but recorded a drop from 91 to 49 new cases between Nov. 21 to 27 compared to the week before.
Kitimat reported 15 new cases, and Prince Rupert had 10, according to British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) data.
Meanwhile, Smithers saw 27 new cases in its local health area (LHA). There was one new case on Haida Gwaii and zero in the Nisga’a LHA. There was one new cases in the Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek LHA.
According to the BCCDC, Kitimat has hit 95 per cent of people 12-years old and up fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the only LHA in Northern Health with a rate higher than the province-wide average of 88.4 per cent on Dec. 1.
The Nov. 30 two-dose list below has the per cent change from the previous week in brackets:
Kitimat – 95 per cent (+1)
Nisga’a – 87 per cent (+1)
Haida Gwaii – 85 per cent (+0)
Prince Rupert – 84 per cent (+0)
Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek – 83 per cent (+1)
Terrace – 82 per cent (+1)
Upper Skeena – 79 per cent (+1)
Smithers – 75 per cent (+1)
From Nov. 22-28, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 58.2 per cent of cases, out of the fewer than 20 per cent of eligible people aged five and up who are not fully vaccinated. From Nov. 15-28, they accounted for 65.9 per cent of hospitalizations.
B.C. confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 during a Nov. 30 briefing.
There are 204 people who recently returned from affected areas in Africa. All have been contacted and isolation and molecular testing are underway, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer said at her weekly briefing in Vancouver.
The first person with the new variant was located in the Fraser Health region who recently travelled to Nigeria. The person is isolating and public health contact tracers are on the job to determine others who may have been exposed.
Also on Nov. 30, the province announced that it would extend COVID-19 restrictions to the whole of the Northern Health area until Jan. 31, 2022.
Dr. Bonnie Henry said the pressure on hospitals and continued high infection rate makes it necessary to expand the current restrictions to the entire region from Quesnel north. The restrictions had been in place only as far west as Kitwanga on Highway 16, but now Prince Rupert and other western communities are affected.
The restrictions close bars and nightclubs, cut off restaurant liquor sales after 10 p.m. and stop in-person religious services.
Social gatherings at private residences will be for up to 10 people inside, or 25 people outside, if people are fully vaccinated.
“Outdoor events with more than 25 people will have a 50 per cent capacity with use of the B.C. vaccine card, and indoor seated events with greater than 10 people will have a 50 per cent capacity limit. And that includes funerals, weddings, sporting events, theatre, arts and performance events,” Henry said.
—With files from Tom Fletcher