There were 61 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Terrace local health area during the week of Oct, 24, to Oct. 30, 2021. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

There were 61 new COVID-19 cases reported in the Terrace local health area during the week of Oct, 24, to Oct. 30, 2021. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

Smithers records 54 new COVID cases Oct 24 – 30

Daily case rates remain high throughout most of Northwest

New COVID-19 case numbers in Smithers Local Health Area (LHA) remained relatively stable during the latest reporting period.

The LHA (Houston to Witset) recorded 54 new infections between Oct. 24 and 30, roughly even with the previous two weeks at 49 and 56 respectively.

Meanwhile the daily rate of new cases per 100,000 population remained high throughout most of the Northwest Health Service Delivery Area. Smithers rate was 36

The daily rate may not correspond exactly with the weekly case numbers because of slightly different reporting periods.

Terrace recorded the most new COVID-19 cases between Oct. 24 and 30 than any other LHA in northwest B.C. for the third week in a row.

New cases in the Terrace LHA dropped to 61 new cases, down from 88 reported during the previous week (Oct. 17 to 23). Kitimat reported 12 new cases and Prince Rupert’s number of new cases decreased from 33 to 26, according to the latest British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) data.

There was one new case on Haida Gwaii and 17 in the Nisga’a LHA. There were four new cases in the combined Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek LHAs.

The BCCDC 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.

In response to a recommendation by the NVHA, the Nigsa’a Lisims government endorsed a pause on cultural gatherings for three weeks, starting Oct. 29 to Nov. 19.

There were 13 new cases in the Upper Skeena LHA. Farther east, there were 33 new cases in Burns Lake, 15 in Nechako and 168 in Prince George.

In Smithers, five inpatients have tested positive and one of those patients has died in connection to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital. The outbreak declaration does not include the maternity section of the inpatient unit.

The hospital is under enhanced outbreak control measures and monitoring.

According to the BCCDC, Kitimat has hit 90 per cent of eligible people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — the only LHA in Northern Health higher than the province-wide average of 85.5 per cent on Nov. 3.

Two-dose vaccination coverage, 12 years and older, by LHA, (per cent change from previous week indicated by brackets):

Kitimat – 90 per cent (+2)

Haida Gwaii – 84 per cent (+1)

Nisga’a – 83 per cent (+2)

Prince Rupert – 82 per cent (+1)

Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek – 80 per cent (+1)

Terrace – 78 per cent (+1)

Upper Skeena – 75 per cent (+0)

Smithers – 72 per cent (+2)

Between Oct. 25 and Oct. 31, unvaccinated people accounted for 64.4 per cent of cases and between Oct. 18 and Oct. 31, they accounted for 72.4 per cent of hospitalizations.

During a press conference on Nov. 1, Health Minister Adrian Dix said that 3,325 health-care workers have been placed on unpaid leave because they are unvaccinated against COVID-19. Dix said that as of midnight Oct. 31, 122,059 of the 127,448 health-care workers – or 95.8 per cent – who have worked at least one shift in last three months are fully vaccinated. Another 2,064 are partially immunized.

Four per cent, or 32o Northern Health workers are unvaccinated, according to Dix.

Northern Health is booking appointments and offering drop-in clinics for first and second doses.

People in Smithers can drop in or book an appointment Nov. 17 – 18 and Nov. 23 – 25 at the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre between 9 a.m. and noon and 1 p.m. to 3:45.

On the following dates flu shots will also be available along with COVID-19 shots: Nov. 9, 12-13 and 16.

For more information or to book an appointment, visit the Northern Health website or call 1-833-838-2323.

— With files from Katya Slepian and Thom Barker