Halloween, early snowfall, cold weather and other events have come and gone, but the consistent message that COVID-19 is alive and well in the north remains the same.
According to the latest health service delivery area report by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), Northern Health tallied 113 positive tests for the virus between Nov. 6 and 19, which is a 38 per cent increase in infections compared to the two weeks prior.
The spike appears to be in the northern interior of the authority’s jurisdiction, which includes Prince George and its surrounding communities.
It’s number nearly doubled to 60 cases compared to 35 between Oct. 23 and Nov. 5.
In October, as reported on Monday (Nov. 16), Prince George’s local health area recorded 43 COVID-19 cases for a year-to-date total of 99 since its first case.
This was the largest spike in all of Northern Health from September to October, which saw a combined 129 new COVID-19 cases last month.
This is also an exponential increase for the local health area after recording 20 in September and just three from August, with likely factors that include the return to school, travel in and out of the region, public exposure alerts and some events that gathered 50 people and potentially more.
The northeast region, which was where Northern Health’s initial spike took place earlier this year, saw 39 infections in the last two weeks, the BCCDC says, which, unfortunately, has included two deaths from Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek since an outbreak was declared on Nov. 2.
In the northwest, it only saw a minor jump to just 17 cases.
Yesterday (Nov. 19), an outbreak was declared in Kitimat at the LNG Canada Project Site where 14 employees tested positive for the virus.
Across B.C., more than 7,800 COVID-19 infections were detected in the last two weeks, which has included several broken daily records in new cases (762), active ones (6,929), hospitalizations (217) and deaths (11).
Five people have died in northern B.C., as of this publication, including a Nak’azdli Whut’en elder among three women and two men.
Northern Health has recorded 563 infections since the authority’s first positive test in March; 12 people are in critical care among 74 active cases and 484 recoveries.
Four Prince George schools have been flagged for COVID-19 exposure since students went back to the classroom in September:
- Van Bien Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 9-10, 2020
- Ron Brent Elementary (SD57) - Oct. 30, 2020
- Immaculate Conception School (Diocese of Prince George) - Oct. 21-23, 2020
- Prince George Secondary (SD57) - Oct. 2, 2020
Ten other northern B.C. schools are listed as well:
- Chetwynd Secondary (SD59) - Nov. 13, 2020
- Hudson's Hope Elementary-Junior Secondary - Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2020
- Roosevelt Park Elementary (SD52) - Oct. 21-22, 2020
- Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) - Oct. 15-16, 2020
- Notre Dame School (Private) - Oct. 13-14, 2020
- Dawson Creek Secondary - South Peace Campus (SD59) - Sept. 23-25, 2020
- David Hoy Elementary (SD91) - Sept. 17-18, 2020
- Quesnel Junior Secondary (SD28) - Sept. 10-11, 15-18, 2020
- Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) - Sept. 16-18, 2020
- Ecole Frank Ross Elementary (SD59) - Sept. 10-11, 2020
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also implemented new public health orders yesterday.
You can read and easily follow each new order in the post below.