The latest numbers for local COVID-19 cases could be a sign of good things to come or a temporary blip.
The New Westminster health delivery area reported 489 new cases of COVID-19 in the week ending Dec. 3, marking a 31% drop in new cases compared to the previous week.
The new data for the Fraser North region of Fraser Health — which includes the Tri-Cities, Burnaby, New Westminster and Ridge Meadows and Maple Ridge — marks a significant decline in new cases after weeks of exponential growth.
Last week, Fraser North recorded 719 new cases in a 13% increase from the previous reporting period.
However, the release of last week’s new case data was delayed by several days due to a reporting error, and it’s not clear how that may have affected the week-to-week trends in new cases.
There have now been 4,840 cases of COVID-19 reported in the health delivery area since the start of the pandemic.
Despite the downturn in new local cases, active cases across British Columbia remain at levels not seen since the start of the pandemic, and breached the 9,000 mark for the first time Thursday. Some of the highest growth in transmission rates are now being recorded outside of B.C.’s Lower Mainland, though Fraser Health still accounted for 67% of all new cases as of Thursday, Dec. 3.
Deaths attributed to COVID-19 — which tend to spike after a surge in new cases — have also continued at a grim pace across the province, continuing in the double digits for several days now.
The situation has led provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to amend her B.C.-public health orders to prohibit adult team sports and indefinitely ban indoor high-intensity group exercises, like hot yoga, spin classes and interval training.
The current restrictions will remain in place until Dec. 7, at which time Henry has said her team will make further decisions on how best to stem the transmission of the virus in the lead up to the holiday season.
- With files from Stefan Labbe, Tri-City News