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Northeast B.C. doubles COVID-19 cases in past two weeks

Northern Interior, which includes Prince George, has recorded 50 cases since January
(via BC Centre for Disease Control)

The latest COVID-19 data released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) shows the majority of Northern Health's upswing in cases has come from the northeast. 

As per the latest Cases for Health Care Delivery Area update from Aug. 28 to Sept. 10, there have been 49 cases in the northeast region. From January until September, there have been 99 in the area. 

The interior region, which includes Prince George, has seen nine cases in the past two weeks and a total of 50 since the pandemic began being recorded in January. 

The northwest has recorded eight cases in the past week and 54 since January. 

On Sept. 19, Northern Health recorded 10 new cases in a single-day reporting period which is the highest to date. B.C. also recorded 139, which was a new record. 

At the time, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said officials are concerned by the surge of cases and hospitalizations. 

“We’re watching that very carefully, you know, [28 active] cases doesn’t seem like a lot in many communities, but we know the north is stretched and the resources that we have in public health to follow up with everybody is being stretched,” said Dr. Henry on what’s being done to contain any further spread of the virus, though unable to mention where those clusters are based

“They’re working very hard and we’re working very closely with communities to make sure that we can support them in supporting individuals who are either being in isolation because they are positive or people who are in quarantine still right now and being monitored.”

As of publication (Sept. 12, 12:30 p.m.), there are eight people hospitalized throughout the authority with two of those cases being in ICU. There are 28 active cases. 

Dr. Henry says she’s worried about the increase, but also says those stats can fluctuate, making it seem like a big problem one day then better progression the next.

“It’s one of those indicators that we do watch very very carefully, but it’s also spread out around the province. So what we’re seeing is half of the cases are in Fraser Health, but we’re also seeing people in the north and that’s concerning [...] So, when we look at what we presented and we look at the impact on our health care system and on the hospitals and ICU beds that we have and the capacity we have, we’re not at a point where we’re concerned about that, but we know as more cases happen, we are starting to see that spill over into long-term care homes and having contact with older family members. That is the warning sign for us.”

The next update from health officials will be on Monday (Sept. 14).