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New COVID cases remain low in Smithers

The local health area reported 7 new cases between Dec. 5 and 11
Smithers recorded 7 new COVID-19 cases between Dec. 5 and Dec. 11, 2021. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

The Smithers Local Health Area (LHA) continued to see low numbers of new COVID cases during the latest BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC) reporting period.

The LHA saw seven new cases between Dec. 5 and 11.

There were no new COVID-19 cases in the Nisga’a local health area for the third straight week, while Terrace saw a significant drop.

Terrace recorded 26 new cases between Dec. 5 and 11, a decrease from 56 new cases the week before.

Kitimat had eight, and there were also eight in Prince Rupert, according to CDC data.

There were zero new cases on Haida Gwaii and in the Nisga’a LHA for the second week in a row.

There was one new case in the combined Snow Country - Stikine - Telegraph Creek LHAs.

The CDC figures for cases in the Nass Valley may differ from the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority’s (NVHA) statistics because of differences in the way those organizations report cases.

Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new public health orders on Dec. 17.

As of Dec. 20, organizers of indoor public events of all sizes are required to use the B.C. vaccine card to verify immunization for all participants, rather than just those with 50 or more people.

Private New Year’s Eve parties of all sizes are not allowed, as they have been shown to be “super-spreader” events, Henry said. New Year’s Eve events must be seated only, with no mingling or dancing.

Also off until at least Jan. 31 are sports tournaments, after a rugby tournament on Vancouver Island led to much of the early spread of Omicron in B.C. and at universities around the country.

Larger sports and entertainment events with more than 1,000 people will be limited to half capacity from Dec. 20 to Jan. 31.

For personal gatherings over the holiday season, Henry said the limit is one household plus up to 10 people, or two households, with everyone having proof of vaccination.

Families with one or more unvaccinated members are not to gather outside their households. These capacity limits apply to homes and vacation rentals.

The only new restriction on B.C. restaurants is the return of strict no-mingling rules between groups.

With files from Tom Fletcher