This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.
BC Health officials tell us the number of COVID 19 cases is doubling almost every 13 days.
There were close to 5,800 active cases as of 4:30 PM, Thursday, November 12th.
“The data shows us that the virus is able to transmit far more easily in the colder weather when we are spending more time indoors, which means that many of the things that we were able to do safely this summer are no longer safe,” said Provincial Health Officer said Dr Bonnie Henry.
October: in Campbell River Health Area
Six people in the Campbell River Health Area tested positive during October, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s latest monthly cumulative COVID case count for local health areas.
These are not the first cases reported in the Campbell River Health area. There were a dozen earlier this year, but none in the cumulative counts for August or September.
Recent COVID 19 cases: Vancouver Island
A less geographically specific report for the past two weeks, states there were 18 new cases in North Vancouver Island, which includes the Comox Valley, Campbell and other regions to the north. Some of these people have already recovered.
Island Health’s Public Health COVID-19 Status Dashboard shows a total of 51 active cases, as of yesterday, and 11 of these are in North Vancouver Island.
British Columbia’s COVID-19 Dashboard confirms that there are 51 active cases on Vancouver Island. None of these have been hospitalized, admitted to the ICU and there has not been a new death reported in months.
Stay away from the Mainland
Ironically, Five staff members at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Island Health’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Richard Stanwick, told CFAX 1070 that a visitor from the Lower Mainland is believed to be the source. He recommends that Island residents stay away from Vancouver unless it is absolutely necessary.
“We do know and we’ve certainly documented that people who have gone over there have come back with more than just a good time, but with COVID,” said Stanwick.
It has been a week since BC’s Provincial health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry, issued a provincial health order for “all individuals, places of work and businesses” in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions to “significantly reduce their level of social interactions and travel.”
This order is currently in effect until 12:00 PM on Monday November 23.
Stanwick suggests, “Let’s support the efforts being done in the Lower Mainland by not going over there and possibly adding to their problem.”
Powell River seeks an exception
Powell River is across the waters from Comox by ferry, but within the Vancouver Coastal Health Region.
Mayor Dave Formosa told MyPowellRiverNOW he is seeking an exemption, “Our citizens can travel to Vancouver for whatever, but we can’t travel to the island. That’s the biggest complaint I’m hearing. Why is it that we can’t have access to Vancouver Island which has far less issues with COVID and Vancouver has far more issues with COVID.”
He added “We did have a breakout in the Tla’amin Nation. The Tla’amin Nation did an excellent job of dealing with it and getting it under control. At the end of September, there were approximately 37 cases within the Tla’amin Nation and two within the region.”
That was prior to the BC Centre for Disease control releasing its latest monthly report, which shows no new cases in Powell River during October.
The BC COVID 19 Situation report for the last week in October showed that while young adults are more likely to contract COVID, they are recovering. Most of the fatalities were among the elderly: “two-thirds were associated with a care facility outbreak, and 85% were 70+ years.”
Dr Henry explained, “2% overall of people who have contracted COVID-19 have died, and we know that age is one of the most important factors in the probability that people will have severe illness or die from the virus. The median age of those who have died from the virus is 85.”
*Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to reflect an updated case count.
top photo credit: Sunset in Gorge Harbour, Cortes Island, by David Simonson via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)