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636 new cases reported in Tri-Cities’ health delivery area last week

The new cases, which rose 8% above the 587 new cases reported last week, indicate a slight levelling off — a promising though cautious cause for optimism.

The Tri-Cities’ health delivery area has reported 636 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week, marking a slight levelling off of the exponential growth reported in recent weeks. 

The Fraser North health delivery area — which in addition to the Tri-Cities, includes Burnaby, New Westminster and Maple Ridge — has now registered 3,632 cases since January.

New cases have risen roughly 8% from last week’s 587 new cases. That means a slight downturn after several weeks of staggering growth. New cases went from 96 per week in early October to nearly 600 per week a month later, above and beyond the doubling of cases roughly every two weeks seen across the province.

Despite the promising signs, such gains can be short lived.

Only last week, Fraser North’s new case count leaped ahead of Vancouver. This week, the regions have traded spots again, with Vancouver seeing a surge in new cases. 

“The concern for the Tri-Cities is we don't live on an island. We're all linked together by work and social events and even sports until last weekend when we were told not to do that,” said UBC infectious disease modeller Dan Coombs.

“Just the work links alone are enough that you'd expect if there was a big outbreak in Surrey that it would spread across the Fraser. We've already seen the numbers rising in Vancouver.”

Cumulative cases to Nov. 19 and new cases from Nov. 6 to 19
Cumulative cases to Nov. 19 and new cases from Nov. 6 to 19 - BCCDC