There were 68 new cases of COVID-19 in the North Shore Garibaldi health region in the past two weeks, according to statistics released by B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control on Thursday.
The number of new cases of the virus in the local health region has been steadily rising for the past several weeks, as it has throughout most of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
It also comes at a time when 26 members of the Squamish Nation have tested positive for COVID-19.
Since the pandemic started in January, there have been 421 cases of COVID-19 in the North Shore Coast Garibaldi health region. Most of those have been in North and West Vancouver.
The health region now has an incidence rate of over 15 cases of the virus per 100,000 people.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s medical health officer, released statistics Thursday that showed younger adults now make up a sizeable portion of those being infected with the virus and that the sharpest increases have been among those 20 to 29.
Many more of the infections among young adults have happened at private parties, bars, nightclubs and restaurants than has happened among older age group.
Children and older people still tend to get infected through their household contacts, at work and in health care settings like seniors homes.
Henry said Thursday although cases are rising, community transmission rates remain very low in most areas of the province.
In areas like Vancouver Island and the Interior, for instance, the incidence rate for COVID-19 remains at less than two cases per 100,000. Even in the Lower Mainland, the incidence rate is hovering around 15 or 16 cases per 100,000, she said.
That compares to guidance that has come out of some areas of Europe and the U.S. which has set 25 cases per 100,000 as a cutoff for the safe full opening of schools and businesses, said Henry.
“We can see across the province we are well below that,” she said.
Currently, people’s activities are at about 65 per cent of normal, she said, but added everyone needs to start being more careful and going back to keeping their “bubbles” small as fall arrives.
“We still have it in our hands, in our actions to bend our curve back down,” she said. “And that is what we need to focus on now. We’re at that limit. We’re at that precipice.”
The province reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, brining the total number of cases in the province to 6,162.
Over 4,700 of those people have recovered from the virus.