COVID case counts on the North Shore are finally heading in the right direction.
For the first time in a month, the number of new COVID cases in the past week is down below 300 and the rate of daily infection has also dropped.
There were 261 new cases of coronavirus on the North Shore for the week ending April 24, according to B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control. That’s 66 fewer than the 327 cases that were reported the week previously and also lower than the number of new cases reported the week before that.
Of the cases reported in the past week, 210 are in North Vancouver and 51 are in West Vancouver, according to B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control.
Infection rate drops in North Van, West Van
North Vancouver now has an average daily infection rate of between 15 and 20 cases per 100,000 people. West Vancouver’s rate has dropped even further to between 10 and 15 daily cases per 100,000.
Further good news is that the number of cases appears to have dropped in several other areas of the Lower Mainland this week. Case counts are down in several parts of Vancouver, as well as Richmond, the Tri-Cities and Maple Ridge. Cases of the virus are still high in many areas of Fraser Health, however, especially in Surrey.
Cases in Whistler and the surrounding Howe Sound communities, including Squamish, have also continued to drop this week, with 50 cases reported this week compared to 131 cases last week and 337 cases the week before.
Hospitalizations still high
The good news about slightly lower case counts is tempered by the fact there are still record numbers of people in hospital with COVID-19. As of Wednesday, there were 515 people in hospital with the virus, 171 of those in intensive care.
Some elective surgeries at Lions Gate Hospital and other hospitals throughout the Lower Mainland have been cancelled for two weeks to free up staff to care for the most seriously ill COVID patients.
The news also comes amid reports of younger people being hospitalized and even dying from COVID.
People in their 50s are making up an increasing number of those admitted to hospital in the Lower Mainland, according to health officials. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 2,434 people in B.C. under 60 hospitalized with COVID, including 545 admitted to ICU.
Deaths are still more likely in older age groups, although there have been deaths in all age groups except teenagers.
As of Wednesday there have been 127,899 cases of the virus in B.C. since the start of the pandemic, with 8,009 active cases.
In the Vancouver Coastal Health region, there are currently 1,806 active cases, including 155 people in hospital and 54 in critical care.