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North Shore COVID-19 cases continue downward trend

Numbers of 'official' new COVID infections are falling in North Vancouver and West Vancouver. Viral concentrations at the Lions Gate wastewater treatment plant are holding steady.
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The number of COVID-19 infections is declining in North Van and West Van.

Official numbers of new COVID-19 infections on the North Shore are continuing to trend down.

There were 44 new COVID cases on the North Shore measured by official PCR tests between June 5 and June 11 – down from the 57 cases measured the week before and the 75 cases reported two weeks ago, according to B.C.'s Centre for Disease Control.

Of the cases reported in the last week, 38 cases were in North Vancouver and six were in West Vancouver.

Although the PCR testing that results in those official case counts is done for only a small number of the most vulnerable people, it is considered an indicator of more general trends.

Hospitalizations fall in VCH

Hospitalizations in Vancouver Coastal Health – which also includes hospitals in Vancouver, Richmond, the Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky Corridor – are also continuing to decline, according to BCCDC. There were 67 people with COVID in hospital as of June 16. That’s down from the 82 people in hospital last week and the 109 people in hospital the week before that.

Six of those people were in critical care – up from four people in ICU with COVID the previous week but down from 10 two weeks ago.

There were also eight new COVID-19-related deaths in the past week in VCH. The majority of deaths continue to be in people over 80, according to the BCCDC, although there have also been a smaller number of COVID-19 deaths among those between 60 and 79. The biggest group of people in hospital with COVID-19 are those over 60 years old.

Wastewater concentrations steady

The most recent reporting of wastewater data showing COVID-19 concentrations at the Lions Gate sewage treatment plant shows levels of the virus there are holding relatively steady.

The most recent samples included concentrations of 43,128 viral parts per litre on June 6 and 39, 480 on June 3.

Prior to that, there were measurements of 33,441 viral parts per litre on May 30, 40,174 on May 28 and 55,175 viral parts per litre on May 23.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control noted that concentrations of the virus have recently fallen at most of Metro’s sewage treatment plants, including the Lions Gate plant on the North Shore.

Although wastewater concentrations don't measure the number of people infected with COVID-19 directly, they are considered one of the more accurate barometers of overall infection levels in communities, as they pick up viral signals from people who have tested positive on rapid tests at home but who are not part of official case counts.

Vax rates stalled

Vaccination rates among both adults and children on the North Shore haven’t budged for months.

Between 92 and 96 per cent of adults on the North Shore have had two doses of vaccine, and between 67 and 72 per cent have received a booster shot – higher than the provincial average.

Vaccination rates for children stalled much lower. Between 58 and 68 per cent of children five to 11 on the North Shore have received two doses of COVID vaccine.

The ICBC site vaccine clinic remains open for children ages five to 11, while adults are now being directed to local pharmacies for their shots.

1 in 5 on North Shore say they've had COVID

According to a recent poll by the North Shore News, one in five people on the North Shore say they’ve had COVID-19. And an additional one in 10 say they probably had it, but they don’t know for sure as no testing was available when they were sick.