Rate of increase of COVID-19 cases highest in B.C.'s Interior

Interior cases rising quickly

The rate of increase of new COVID-19 is highest in British Columbia's Interior than anywhere else in the province.

New detailed geographical data released by the BC Centre for Disease Control on Tuesday shows there was 420 new COVID-19 cases discovered in the Okanagan between Nov. 13 and 26, an 87 per cent increase from the previously reported two-week period.

Meanwhile, new COVID-19 cases in the Thompson Cariboo Shuswap region doubled its last reporting period, with 68 new cases identified. This region includes Revelstoke, where a cluster of 22 cases was reported back on Nov. 26. That cluster has since grown to at least 46 cases as of Tuesday.

While the data is supposed to be released every Thursday, the most recent data was delayed by several days due to a data reporting error found last week in the Fraser Health region.

The Northern Interior Health Service Delivery Area saw the largest increase in the rate of growth of recent cases, with 153 new cases discovered between Nov. 13 and 26. This is a 155 per cent increase from the last reporting period.

The only Health Service Delivery Area in the province where new cases have dropped since the previous reporting period is in the Kootenay Boundary area, where 13 new cases were found between Nov. 13 and 26, down from 27 over the two weeks prior.

While the rate of growth of COVID-19 has been highest across the Interior, the bulk of the 10,119 new cases in B.C. continue to come from the Fraser South area, which includes Surrey, Langley, Delta and White Rock. From Nov. 13 to 26, 4,781 new cases were identified in this region, while another 1,326 have come from Vancouver.

Close to a third of all of the province's COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic have been identified in the most recently reported two-week period. COVID-related deaths continue to climb, with 94 in that same period. Most recently, another 73 British Columbians have died from the virus since Nov. 26.

More recent Health Service Delivery Area data is expected to be released Thursday.

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