Detailed geographic vaccination data that the B.C. government has refused to make public, but was recently leaked, shows the Central Okanagan is less vaccinated than the South Okanagan.
On Thursday, The Vancouver Sun published leaked data from the BC Centre for Disease Control that shows far greater details about how the pandemic has impacted particular communities.
The leak comes amid calls from media and the public to release more detailed data about where COVID cases and hospitalizations are impacting communities in B.C., similar to other provinces like Alberta and Ontario.
Premier John Horgan said last November that his government is “not hiding anything,” and they've been “as transparent as any jurisdiction in North America,” while Dr. Bonnie Henry said in December that “all of the data that we have is available to people.”
The leaked report shows new COVID-19 case rates and vaccination rates by Community Health Service Area – a more granular breakdown than the local health area breakdown the BC Centre for Disease Control releases publicly.
Around Kelowna for example, between April 23 and April 29, the daily rate of infection for West Kelowna, Okanagan Mission, Rutland, Glenmore and Lake Country was between 10.1 and 20 cases per 100,000 people, while the daily rate for Downtown Kelowna and the Central Okanagan rural was lower, between 5.1 and 10 cases per 100,000 people.
The Summerland CHSA, meanwhile, had one of the worst infection rates in the Interior that week, between 20.1 and 40 daily new cases per 100,000 people. And the testing percent positivity in Summerland was much higher than the surrounding areas as well.
The detailed geographic data in the leaked report also shows the percentage of adults who've been vaccinated, up to April 29.
Across all of the Central and North Okanagan, 21-40 per cent of the population had received their first dose of vaccine. But in the South Okanagan, Merritt, Salmon Arm and most of the Thompson regions, 41 to 60 per cent of adults had received a vaccine.
This data is now somewhat out of date though, as more people have been vaccinated in these regions in the past week.
It's not clear why the government has refused to publicly release this data, when it has been circulating the data internally.
The report also makes mention of the rapidly increasing in case numbers coming from B.C.'s neighbours to the east.
“Alberta's case rate is currently the highest in Canada and at similar levels to the Dec. peak. Potential for importation into BC,” the report states.
Despite this, the province has not made any enforcement efforts to keep recreational travellers from Alberta out of B.C., as they have done with travellers from the Lower Mainland.
The full report can be found below.