New weekly cases in Okanagan hit new high, but growth slowing

Weekly cases hit new high

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Okanagan continued to rise to unprecedented levels last week, but the rate of growth has slowed.

New geographical data released by the BC Centre for Disease Control Friday showed 414 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the Okanagan between April 9-15, the largest single-week rise in the region since the BC CDC began releasing the data in October.

Weekly case numbers have been rising rapidly across the province in the past month, including in the Interior, but the latest data shows that rise may be slowing slightly.

With 393 new cases identified in the Okanagan between April 2-8, the latest numbers show just a five per cent increase week over week. The week prior saw a 76 per cent jump in weekly cases in the Okanagan and the week before that saw a 45 per cent increase.

Elsewhere in the Interior, the Thompson-Caribou-Shuswap region saw new cases rise to 128, from 91 the week before. The Kootenay Boundary region remained somewhat stable with 39 new cases, and the East Kootenay region dropped to 59 new cases.

Across the entire Interior, active cases dropped for the first time in weeks on Friday, to 904 from 910 the previous day. There remains 23 people hospitalized with the virus in the Interior, 10 of whom are being treated in ICU.

Provincewide, there were actually 18 fewer new weekly cases between April 9 and 15 compared to the week prior, with 7,522 total cases. Total new weekly cases in B.C. have consistently risen since the beginning of February.

New cases have decreased in some of B.C.'s hot spot regions, like the North Shore-Coast Garibaldi region, which includes Whistler, along with the Northeast and the Vancouver regions.

It's been almost three weeks since Dr. Bonnie Henry implemented new health orders that shut down all indoor restaurant dining in the province. That order is expected to be extended on Monday.

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