Latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control data show ages between 20 and 40 are the highest group for new cases, as vaccination rolls out across the province. (B.C. government)

Latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control data show ages between 20 and 40 are the highest group for new cases, as vaccination rolls out across the province. (B.C. government)

B.C. turning a corner on COVID-19 as Christmas arrives

Younger adults still seeing the most new infections

B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate has continued to turn down since mid-November, with hot spots in the southern Interior, the Northwest and the Fraser Valley, where the highest number of diagnosed cases has been determined since fall.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presented the latest modelling of B.C.’s second surge of coronavirus Dec. 23, showing the age group from 20 to 40 has the highest infection rate. School-aged children continue to test positive at low rates, with fewer than seven out of 1,000 students showing infection as testing ramped up since the start of the school year.

“Most school-aged children who have symptoms do not have COVID-19, and that remains the same as we have seen throughout the pandemic,” Henry said. “With more than 600,000 students and educators back in our school system, this is something that we have been following very carefully.”

She acknowledged that there have been many exposure events, with infected people being in the school environment when they may be contagious.

“We have been posting those regularly,” Henry said. “It does not mean that anybody has transmitted the virus in those settings, but it’s an understanding of how much risk we have in our school environment. And what we have seen is that even though we have exposure events that reflect transmission events in our community, we have very little transmission actually in schools.”

RELATED: 518 new cases Wednesday, death toll nears 800 in B.C.

RELATED: Ottawa approves Moderna vaccine, 40,000 doses on way

Contact tracing to contain community outbreaks has been strained, particularly in the Fraser Health region and in northern B.C., where remote and sparse population is more difficult to reach.

“Most of our cases continue to be linked to a known case or outbreak,” Henry said. “That’s important for us. That means we have not lost the ability to do contact tracing.”

With the second vaccine from Moderna approved for use in Canada, B.C. and other provinces are expecting to start receiving it next week. Pfizer has approved use of its vaccine from more locations outside of the company’s delivery points, allowing more detailed plans, including at-risk remote Indigenous communities.

The first target by the end of February is reaching 150,000 residents and staff of long-term care and assisted living facilities, as well as essential visitors to those facilities, front-line health care workers and 25,000 people in remote and isolated Indigenous communities.

The second priority group for February and March is 400,000 community-based seniors, homeless people, provincial prisons, residential adult mental health patients, long-term care and hospital support staff, community physicians and medical specialists.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
MY COVID STORY: From doctor to patient

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shayna Jones. Photo: Louis Bockner
Kaslo performer collects stories of Black rural experience

Shayna Jones will create a performance piece about Black people ‘tucked away in the countryside’

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Winlaw artist Lou Lynn is one of eight Canadians to win a Governor General's award this year. Photo: Janet Dwyer
Winlaw artist Lou Lynn wins Governor General’s award

Lynn is among eight artists honoured throughout Canada

The winged floater mussel can be spotted at Arrow Lake. Photo: Bill Chapman
LETTER: Native mussels visible at Arrow Lakes near Castlegar

Low water levels revealing native mussels

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

Most Read