After being one of the province’s hot spots for new COVID-19 cases last week, the Agassiz-Harrison area is now seeing a much lower number of new cases.
Between March 14 and 20, the most recent data available from the BCCDC, the Agassiz-Harrison local health area saw four new cases of COVID-19, down significantly from the 16 new cases the week before.
That high number of cases came after more than a month of increasing cases in the area, going from only two a week in early February to 16 in mid-March.
Because of Agassiz-Harrison’s size, small changes in the number of new cases can have dramatic impact on the rate of new cases, as seen in this most recent week, when the area went from a rate of nearly 24 new cases per 100,000 people per day down to just under 6 new cases per 100,000.
Other areas with larger populations, and larger weekly case counts, tend to see more stable changes in their daily rates of new cases. This is the case for Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission, all of which have seen little change in their rates for this most recent week.
This follows the general trend for the eastern Fraser Valley, which has been seeing an incremental decrease in the number of new cases since December.
This most recent week has seen almost the same number of new cases as the last week, in part due to the 20 additional cases in Abbotsford for March 14 to 20. These new cases offset the decrease in cases in Agassiz-Harrison, and the one or two case difference in Chilliwack, Mission and Hope.
Although Fraser East is slowly moving down, other areas in Fraser Health are heading up. In particular, Fraser South is seeing high numbers of new cases, reaching close to 300 new cases each day in the past week.
With the daily case count increasing, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry warning of a potential third wave, COVID-19 vaccinations have been increasingly important in the public health messaging.
Currently in Agassiz, both the public health unit and the Agricultural Hall are being used for COVID-19 vaccination clinics, although neither are in use full time. The first clinic at the Ag Hall will be taking place on April 1, and anyone eligible to book their vaccine will be able to get an appointment there if space allows.
As of Thursday, March 25 at noon, seniors 75 and older and Indigenous people 55 and older are able to book their COVID-19 vaccinations online or over the phone (1-855-755-2455). Those with specific health concerns will be receiving a letter in the mail which will allow them to book their appointments as well.