The Agassiz-Harrison Local Health Area is now one province’s hot spots for COVID-19, as it sees the second highest rate of new cases in the Lower Mainland.
Between March 7 and March 13, the most recent data available from the BCCDC, Agassiz and Harrison saw 16 new cases of COVID-19. This comes after several weeks of cases numbers inching up from a low of three new cases a week in early February.
In the rest of the eastern Fraser Valley, new cases of COVID-19 have actually been decreasing. This is particularly prominent in Chilliwack and Abbotsford, which saw 69 and 124 new cases in their respective communities.
The daily rate of new COVID-19 cases, which allows communities of different sizes to be compared to each other, showed that the smaller communities of Hope, Mission and Agassiz-Harrison had been doing better at keeping new infections under control, for the most part.
However, since the end of January, all three of those communities had been seeing a rise in new cases. Agassiz-Harrison has seen the largest continuous increase, as the community is now seeing nearly 24 new cases per 100,000 people each day.
This number of new cases is the highest in the eastern Fraser Valley, and the second highest in the Lower Mainland. Surrey, which is seeing nearly 30 new cases a day per 100,000 people, is the highest. Surrey has been a centre of COVID-19 concern for much of the pandemic, and has recently seen Fraser Health called in to help deal with variants of concern at outbreaks in schools.
Although both Surrey and Agassiz-Harrison are seeing high rates of transmission, it is dwarfed by what is going on in the North Coast. There, Prince Rupert is seeing a staggering 124 new cases per 100,000 people each day.
The province has decided to move away from the age-regulated roll out for COVID-19 vaccinations in that community, and is offering vaccines to all adults to help combat the virus.
Aside from a few hot spots, most of the province is actually seeing low transmission of the novel coronavirus, with many communities are seeing no new cases of COVID-19 between March 7 and 13.
Although this is not the case in the Fraser Health region, which still sees the largest portion of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases each day, numbers are decreasing. In the eastern Fraser Valley, cases have seen a significant drop due to a decrease in cases in Chilliwack and Abbotsford.
In the eastern Fraser Valley, there are still two ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at Mission Memorial Hospital and Chilliwack General Hospital. There are no long-term care home or assisted living outbreaks in the area.
Vaccinations are underway across the province for COVID-19, including one vaccination clinic in Agassiz. Seniors 81 and older are now able to book their appointment by calling 1-855-755-2455 or booking online at fraserhealth.ca/vaccinebooking. Seniors who are 80 will be able to book their COVID-19 vaccination appointments starting Friday, March 19.