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Fourth wave easing, but COVID case rates high locally

·2 min read

Health officials say the fourth wave of COVID-19 seems to be ebbing a little, but case numbers in the West Kootenay are among the highest in the province.

The seven-day summary showed case numbers in West Kootenay health subregions coming down from a pandemic peak in late September, when 31 new cases were recorded in the Nelson subregion, and 14 in the Arrow Lakes subregion in a one-week period. Between October 3 and 9, seven new cases were recorded in the Nelson subregion and eight in the Arrow Lakes.

While not high numerically, in terms of cases per 100,000, the Arrow Lakes sub-region was among the highest in the province, with more than 20 cases per 100,000.

Castlegar and Trail also continue to be provincial hotspots, with 21 and 36 new cases in the same period.

In the Kootenay Lake subregion, no new cases have been recorded since September 25, when five were listed from that area in a one-week period. The Kootenay Lake subregion includes Kaslo and area.

The readership area has also seen potential school exposures. Schools in Crescent Valley, Slocan City and New Denver recorded potential exposures in late September. Only one school is now listed with a potential exposure, at Lucerne Elementary Secondary in New Denver on October 1.

As of October 15, 89.5% of eligible people 12 and older in BC have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 83.7% have received their second dose.

The pandemic continues to hit the unvaccinated hardest. From October 7 to 13, 68% of new cases were among people with no shots, or with just the first. In the two-week period between September 30 and October 13, more than three out of four people hospitalized with the virus were not fully vaccinated (76.3%).

People wanting to get their shots can access regular clinics being held in Nelson on Mondays and Wednesdays, Castlegar on Mondays and Fridays, Nakusp on Wednesdays, New Denver and Kaslo on Tuesdays. Check online for the latest clinics being held in your area.

John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

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