Total cumulative COVID-19 cases from January 2020 to September 2021. The North Thompson LHa has seen 46 COVID-19 cases in this time period. (BC Centres for Disease Control)

Total cumulative COVID-19 cases from January 2020 to September 2021. The North Thompson LHa has seen 46 COVID-19 cases in this time period. (BC Centres for Disease Control)

Four new COVID-19 cases in North Thompson LHA as numbers continue to rise across Interior

The recent numbers bring the total to eight since the beginning of August

The North Thompson Local Health Area saw four more new cases of COVID-19 from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, according to data released by the BC Centres for Disease Control. The area had seen just one case the week prior (Sept. 19 to 25).

The LHA maps are updated by the BC CDC every Wednesday for the previous week. The total is now 46 positive cases of COVID-19 since January 2020. From January 2020 to July 2021, the North Thompson LHA had a total of just 14 cases.

B.C. health teams confirmed 743 new cases on Thursday, Oct. 7, continuing a trend of infection rates stabilizing since early September. As of Oct. 8, there were 360 people in hospital with active COVID-19 infections and 137 in intensive care. Five additional deaths were attributed to the coronavirus, three is Fraser Health and one each in Interior Health and Northern Health where hospitals continue to struggle with serious illness.

As of Friday Oct. 8, more than 88 per cent of those eligible 12 and over had received their first shot in B.C., and 82.2 per cent had received their second dose. Just two days before B.C. health officials announced registration is now open for children aged five to 11 for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The BC CDC updates the vaccination numbers for LHAs every Tuesday. The North Thompson LHA has continued its trend, raising a percentage each week in vaccinations. From Sept. 28 to Oct. 5, the percentage of all those eligible to receive their first dose raised from 74 to 75 per cent. Likewise, the percentage of those eligible to received their second dose also rose one per cent in the same time period.

The BC CDC released statistics comparing case rates and hospitalizations based on vaccination status: unvaccinated, one dose and two doses. In both categories, the numbers drop significantly as people get their vaccine shots.

From Sept. 10 to Oct. 7, 136.2 per 10,000 unvaccinated individuals were reported to have COVID-19, compared to 40.8 per 10,000 with their first dose and 13.4 per 10,000 who have been fully vaccinated.

Hospitalizations also show significant decreases in numbers as 205.8 hospitalizations per 100,000 were of those who were unvaccinated, compared to 32.3 with a first dose and 4.3 with both shots (Sept. 7 to Oct. 4).

A similar pattern is noticed when looking at case rates by various age groups. In Interior Health, those aged 80 and over who are unvaccinated report new daily cases at an average of just under 50 per 100,000 per day, down from almost 160 per 100,000 per day in September. The average rate of new cases in the same age group, but fully vaccinated, is about 6 per 100,000 per day.

As of Oct. 11, there were potential exposure events noted at seven schools in Kamloops, one in Logan Lake and one in Chase. There have been no exposure events noted at schools in the North Thompson area, according to Interior Health’s news website.

Immunization clinics are available in Clearwater every Thursday until Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.) and Barriere every Tuesday until Oct. 26 from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (closed between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.), both at the local health centres.

Appointments are preferred for these clinics as there is limited drop-in capacity. To make an appointment call 1-833-838-2323. The clinics are held for anyone looking to get their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Those needing their second dose can now receive it as early as 28 days after the first dose.