New COVID-19 cases in Okanagan double that of last week

New local virus cases jump

New COVID-19 cases in the Okanagan have been steadily increasing in recent weeks, almost doubling last week's numbers.

New data released by the BC Centre for Disease Control shows 90 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the Okanagan over the 14-day period between Oct. 16 and 29. This works out to about 19 per cent of the region's 477 total cases coming in the past two weeks alone.

Last week, the same data from the two-week period from Oct. 9 to 22 showed 46 new cases in the region. Just 20 new cases came from the region between Sept. 25 and Oct. 8. But back in July, the Okanagan was the hardest hit region in the province, with 107 new cases between July 10 and 23. 

While the Ministry of Health releases COVID-19 numbers by health authority on a daily basis, the more detailed breakdown by health service delivery area is released every week, showing numbers from the previous two-week period.

And while the Okanagan region is seeing rapidly growing case counts, the Thompson Caribou Shuswap region has remained relatively stable in recent weeks. Twenty-four cases of the virus were identified in the region over the past two weeks, compared to 26 over the previous two-week reporting period.

Five cases were found in the East Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary regions respectively in the past two weeks.

As of Thursday, there were 89 active cases of the COVID-19 across all of the Interior, up from 57 the week prior.

But as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry noted during her briefing Thursday, the vast majority of new cases have been coming from the Fraser Valley. The Fraser South region, made up of Surrey, Langley and White Rock, saw 1,478 new cases in the past two weeks, close to half of the province's 2,910 new cases during that period. 

Earlier this week, Dr. Henry made a new public health order, limiting house guests to a maximum of six people.

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