COVID-19 numbers up almost 50 per cent on North Shore in September

Number of coronavirus cases rose to 531 in North and West Vancouver by the end of the month

The number of COVID-19 cases on the North Shore went up by almost 50 per cent in the month of September.

That’s according to statistics released Thursday by B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control, giving more detailed breakdowns of case counts in local communities.

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The number of coronavirus cases reported on the North Shore since the beginning of the pandemic in January rose to 531 by Sept. 30, a 49 per cent increase over the 356 cases reported to the end of August.

Cases in North Vancouver rose from 274 at the end of August to 406 by the end of September. The number of positive tests in West Vancouver went from 82 at the end of August to 125 at the end of September.

The numbers point to the North Shore as one of the areas of the Lower Mainland with a relatively high incidence of COVID-19 cases, since the beginning of the pandemic.

September was a month when Squamish Nation members fought to contain a cluster of cases among its members. A total of 43 nation members eventually tested positive for the virus. All of those people have now been cleared from isolation.

COVID-19 exposures and some clusters of positive cases were also reported at six schools in West Vancouver during September after students returned to the classroom.

Other Lower Mainland areas with a high incidence of COVID-19 cases per population include Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Abbotsford and Mission.

Surrey, one of the most highly populated areas of the Lower Mainland, reported 1,814 cases of coronavirus to the end of September. Richmond, with 277 cases, is one of the areas with the lowest incidence of the virus.

The statistics showed cases increased in other areas of the North Shore-Coast Garibaldi health region, although numbers in more rural areas remained lower than in more populated areas. The Howe Sound area (including Whistler and Squamish) more than doubled its number of cases in September, going from 36 cases to 76. The lower Sunshine Coast went from 14 cases to 26, while Powell River went from just one reported case at the end of August to 39 by Sept. 30.

According to B.C’s Centre for Disease Control, there had been 719 cases of COVID-19 reported in the North Shore-Coast Garibaldi health service area by Oct. 8.

COVID map detail BC
A map showing numbers of COVID-19 cases in local health areas throughout B.C. Areas in dark colours have a higher incidence of COVID-19 cases. graphic BC CDC

B.C. reached a sobering milestone this week, with over 10,000 cases of the virus reported. The number of active cases also increased slightly.

Provincewide, people ages 20 to 39 still account for the largest number of COVID-19 cases. A total of 952 children and teens under 20 had tested positive by Oct. 8 across B.C., but still made up only six per cent of total COVID-19 cases, while making up 19 per cent of the population.

As of Friday, there had been 10,185 COVID-19 cases reported in B.C. with 1,406 active cases.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s medical health officer, has urged families to keep gatherings small this Thanksgiving weekend to help stop the spread of the virus.



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