There has been a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the North Shore-Coast Garibaldi Health area, pushing the total number of cases up by almost a third.
Statistics released by B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control Nov. 19 showed over 300 cases have been added to the cumulative total for the health region in the past week.
The area, which includes North and West Vancouver, the Sea-to-Sky corridor including Squamish and Whistler, Powell River and the Sunshine Coast, has now had 1,321 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in January. On Nov. 12, the Centre for Disease Control showed 1,017 cases in the local health area.
The spike in local cases comes as tighter restrictions have been put in place provincewide by Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s medical health officer, until at least Dec. 7 as B.C. battles a surge of cases, especially in the Lower Mainland.
The increase in cases has been most dramatic in Surrey and the south Fraser health area, where the cumulative number of cases sat at 9,700 on Thursday.
Henry said Thursday although the largest number of cases have been in Surrey, she wasn’t considering putting city-specific restrictions in place because people who live in Surrey work all over the Lower Mainland. Many essential health care workers also live in Surrey, she said.
“There are cases in Dawson Creek, there are cases in Prince George, there are cases on Vancouver Island, there are cases in Vancouver, there are cases everywhere,” she said. “So what needs to be done in Surrey needs to be done everywhere.”
As of Thursday, there were 6,929 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 217 people in hospital, including 59 in critical care. There were also 40 outbreaks in long-term care and 19 outbreaks in acute care. The majority of those are in Fraser Health, followed by Vancouver Coastal Health.