The impact of the COVID-19 Omicron variant is being shown once more through public data.
And in the case of the Tri-Cities, the latest count is one for the record books.
Leading up until Christmas Day (Dec. 19 to 25), there were 796 local infections detected, which is now the highest the region has recorded in a single week during 2021.
It represents an increase of 312 per cent compared to the previous count of 193 between Dec. 12 and 18 — a 250 per cent jump from 54 the week of Dec. 5.
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) released its latest report today (Dec. 30) accounting for the Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence.
The peak before Christmas was 514 infections in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra between April 4 and 10.
As well, the new count is also one of the highest local case counts in all of B.C.
It rounds out the top three communities, all in Fraser Health, behind Surrey (1,155) and Burnaby (799).
According to B.C. public health officials, there are currently 2,452 cases of the Omicron variant across B.C., including 628 in Fraser Health.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said, during a news conference on Wednesday (Dec. 29), officials are continuing to learn about Omicron, which is driving the rapid spread of the virus.
"The rate of transmission has impacted a number of different parts of our system that we've had in place including the effectiveness of contact tracing. The incubation period is fast," she said, explaining the period of time from when a person contracts the virus to shows symptoms has fallen from from about six days to three.
As of this publication, 13 per cent of all eligible Tri-City residents have received a third dose of vaccine against COVID-19 — predominantly among those over the age of 63 (67 per cent) and immuno-compromised.
Eligible residents aged 12 years and older are averaging a 90.6 per cent double-vaccination rate, while 92.6 per cent have one jab in their shoulder.
Five- to 11-year-olds in the Tri-Cities are averaging a near 40 per cent first-dose rate.
The only vaccine clinic currently on tap in the Tri-Cities is the mass COVID-19 testing and immunization clinic at Coquitlam Central SkyTrain Station's Park and Ride overflow lot.
For a third straight day, Fraser Health shortened its operating hours today due to the colder temperatures impacting healthcare workers administering vaccines.
Appointments before 5:30 p.m. have not changed, the authority states, but those booked after the hour can come earlier.
Residents with scheduled shots this afternoon and evening are being asked to either rebook their appointment altogether or go to the Surrey North indoor clinic at 10025 King George Blvd.
If it's your first dose against COVID-19, you will need your personal health number and a piece of ID.
If it's your second, and it's been at least 28 days since your first jab, you will need your personal health number, ID and immunization record card.
More information is available on Fraser Health's website.
Third jabs are only recommended at this time for eligible residents 63 years and older, as well as those classified as immuno-compromised.
The Coquitlam station's normal operating hours and entry instructions are as follows:
- 2900 Barnet Hwy.
- 9:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. = Monday to Friday
- 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. = Saturdays and Sundays
- Entrance off Mariner Way – east side of Rona. Proceed down the ramp and turn right
- The address will direct you to the main lot on the left but COVID-19 Services are located in the overflow lot to the right
- Do not cut through the Rona parking lot. Please follow the signs
- with a file from Colin Dacre, Castanet
.@Fraserhealth reduces hours at Coquitlam mass COVID-19 vaccine clinic today (Dec. 30) due to poor road conditions caused by overnight snowfall ❄️ Now closing at 5:30 p.m., residents with appts after that time are encouraged to go to Surrey 👇 | #CoquitlamBC @TriCityNews https://t.co/tsIgsJgdxz— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) December 30, 2021