For a third straight weekly reporting period, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Smithers Local Health Area (LHA) have risen. From Jan. 10 to 16 the LHA (Houston to Witset) saw 32 new infections.
This represents a very high rate of more than 20 daily new cases per 100,000 population, a measure the B.C. Centre for Disease Control uses to allow comparison between LHAs with different population densities.
That brings the total case count for Smithers LHA to 179, or one per cent of the roughly 18,400 population since January.
Caseloads in most of the surrounding Northwest Health Service Delivery Area LHAs for the second week of January were also on the rise. Terrace had 69, Burns Lake 33, Nechako 31, Nisga’a 17, Kitimat 10, Prince Rupert 7, Upper Skeena 5, and Haida Gwaii 1.
The aggregated LHAs of Snow Country, Telegraph Creek and Stikine reported two cases.
As of this morning, Northern Health was reporting 35 new daily cases. There were 501 active cases with 39 hospitalized and 17 receiving critical care.
There have been 54 confirmed deaths and 2,402 victims are considered to have recovered since the pandemic began.
A weekly report on Health Service Delivery Areas (HSDA), of which there are three in Northern Health, is expected later today.
While Northwest numbers are increasing, the province as a whole is holding fairly steady at around 500 cases per day.