Fewer people are testing positive for COVID in New Westminster, as COVID-19 test positivity continues to drop around Metro Vancouver.
Between March 25 and 31, COVD-19 test positivity in New Westminster stood at 11%, down from 16% the week before, according to the latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control data.
That positivity rate leaves New West in the middle of the pack when it comes to rates in nearby municipalities. The same 11% positivity was also seen in Port Coquitlam, North Coquitlam and Whalley.
Burnaby’s four quadrants had higher positivity rates, ranging from 12% in the southwest to 18% in the northwest.
Southeast Coquitlam, North Surrey and Guildford all came in lower, at 9%.
A few neighbourhoods even hit 0% test positivity: Pitt Meadows, South Langley and the Gilmore/Shellmont/Hamilton area of Richmond.
(A note of caution: With relatively low levels of testing, positivity rates can swing quickly when the volume of tests being done in a week is low. For Lions Bay/Bowen Island, for example, positivity came in at 0% positivity last week but swung back up to 50% this week.)
Case counts are also continuing to trend downwards in New Westminster, with just 14 new cases between March 25 and 31 – down from 19 last week.
That number is not reflective of the actual number of COVID-19 cases in the city, since the vast majority of people have not been eligible for testing since the beginning of 2022, when case counts shot up dramatically in the face of the Omicron wave. The trend line, however, has been on a downward trajectory since January – between Jan. 4 and 10, the city saw 303 new cases.
Who's eligible for a COVID-19 PCR test in B.C.?
Testing is available through public health to those that meet the eligibility criteria.
According to the Fraser Health website, as of April 1, testing is recommended for people who have symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection and who fall into one of the following categories:
- people for whom testing is clinically indicated (people who are pregnant, hospitalized or moderately to severely immunocompromised).
- people with conditions that put them at high risk.
- people 70 years of age or older who are fully vaccinated, with three or more chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe illness or hospitalization.
- people 50 years of age and older who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and who have three or more chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe illness or hospitalization; or people 50 to 69 years of age who have not yet received their booster dose and have three or more chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe illness or hospitalization; or people age 70 years and older who have not yet received their booster dose and have one or more chronic conditions that increase the risk of severe illness or hospitalization.
- individuals who self-identify as Indigenous.
- individuals who live or work in high-risk settings.
Where can I get a COVID-19 rapid test in B.C.?
If you aren't eligible for public testing but you want to know if you have COVID-19, rapid antigen tests are available for free through participating community pharmacies for all adults aged 18+.
To find a New Westminster pickup point near you, check out this list by neighbourhood.
Students in kindergarten-to-Grade 12 schools around B.C. have also been given one five-test kit apiece through their schools.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is no longer collecting reports of positive cases from at-home tests.
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