New Westminster's official COVID-19 case count has hit a six-week low.
The city saw 10 new officially recorded cases between July 24 and 30, according to the latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
That follows a month of decline throughout July. There were 30 cases reported in the week of July 3 to 9 — a number that dropped over the subsequent weeks to 24, 15 and now 10.
This week's case count is the lowest since the week of June 12 to 18, when just six new cases were reported.
Those numbers do not reflect the total number of actual COVID cases in the city. Official public case counts are considered to be a vast undercount of COVID-19 cases in B.C., since the majority of people have not been eligible for testing since the beginning of 2022 in the face of the original Omicron wave.
Nonetheless, the downward trend provides reason for optimism. By comparison, the local numbers are much lower than January — when equally few people were eligible for testing but the city still saw more than 200 cases in a week (216 between Jan. 9 and 15).
More COVID-19 cases in B.C. intensive care units: BCCDC
Provincewide, hospitalization data continues to show reason for caution.
Most data metrics in B.C. have been relatively flat in the past month, but there are more patients in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) today than at any time in the past two months.
Of 410 patients in B.C. hospitals who have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, 38 are sick enough to need extra care in ICUs. That compares with 401 COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals one week ago, with 35 of them in ICUs.
The last time there were this many COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospital ICUs was on June 2, when there were 41 such patients out of 421 in all hospital wards combined.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province then sunk to a low of 273 in the weekly updates on June 23 and June 30, before rising into mid-July.
The province's data shows there were 28 new COVID-19 deaths in the week that ended July 30. In the previous three weeks, the province's data holds that there were 29, 21 and 22 COVID-19 deaths respectively.
Current hospitalization and death data is not available on a local level, so New Westminster-specific numbers are unavailable.