An Interior Health COVID-19 mobile clinic, July 2021. Interior Health has the lowest vaccination rate, and the highest number of new cases, in the province. (Photo credit: Interior Health)

An Interior Health COVID-19 mobile clinic, July 2021. Interior Health has the lowest vaccination rate, and the highest number of new cases, in the province. (Photo credit: Interior Health)

More than half of BC’s new COVID cases in Interior Health region

IH also leading the way in active cases of COVID-19 as case count begins to climb

While Interior Health (IH) is approaching a milestone — its millionth dose of COVID-19 vaccine being administered — B.C. is seeing a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus, with the IH region reporting the largest number of new cases.

On Monday, July 26 there were 267 new cases reported over the previous three days in the province, with 155 of them in Interior Health. Of the province’s 695 active cases of COVID-19 on July 26, 342 were in the IH region, which has a population of 800,000.

By comparison, the province’s other four health regions stood at:

Fraser Health (population 1.9 million): 48 new cases, 185 active cases;

Vancouver Coastal Health (population 1.25 million): 41 new cases, 118 active cases;

Northern Health (population 288,000): five new cases, 14 active cases; and

Island Health (population 843,000): 18 new cases, 32 active cases.

As of July 23, the seven-day rolling average of new and active cases was at the highest level in two weeks. Health Minister Adrian Dix said that 78 per cent of the new COVID-19 cases recorded between June 15 and July 15 were among unvaccinated people. Eighteen per cent were among people who had received one dose of vaccine, while four per cent were among people who had been fully vaccinated.

Twenty-five per cent of cases in the IH region are the delta variant, with most occurring among people aged 20 to 40. Since Phase 3 of the province’s Safe Restart started on July 1, approximately 70 per cent of the cases in Interior Health were in people who are not vaccinated.

In total, 969,810 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered throughout Interior Health to date. This includes over 557,598 first doses and 412,212 second doses. However, IH is lagging slightly behind the province’s other health authorities when it comes to the percentage of people vaccinated. Most of the new cases being reported are located in the Okanagan, with clusters in some rural communities.

Mobile vaccine clinics continue to operate in small communities throughout the region, but several have had to be cancelled because of wildfires and smoke, including one that had been planned in Ashcroft on July 22. IH has said that the clinic will be rescheduled when conditions are safe.

People can get their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by dropping in to any IH immunization clinic or by making an appointment. To make an appointment, register online by visiting the provincial website at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/; call 1‑833‑838‑2323; or visit a Service BC office and book an appointment.

For a list of all Interior Health COVID-19 immunization clinics and other resources, visit https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/covid-19-vaccines/.



editorial@accjournal.ca

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