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

Volunteer Robbie McKnight works the screening table at the Coast Mountain College COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Smithers. (Deb Meissner photo)
Smithers clinic expands vaccine eligibility to ages 60+

Community members born in 1961 or earlier can now call for an appointment at 1-844-255-7555

Styrofoam burning at the Woodmere Tree Nursery in Telka created billowing black smoke over Tyhee Lake and resulted in air quality advisory for Bulkley Valley. (Contributed photo)
VIDEO: Telkwa styrofoam fire air quality advisory lifted

A woodpile fire at Woodmere Tree Nursery spread to styrofoam blocks causing air quality concerns

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

The Smithers Local Health Area reported just six new cases of COVID-19 for the week of March 21 - 27. (BC CDC graphic)
Weekly COVID cases decline in Smithers and Northwest

Smithers community members born in 1951 or before (70 years old) now eligible for vaccination

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

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

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read