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Omicron variant contributes to 250% skyrocket in Tri-City COVID-19 local cases

There were 193 infections between Dec. 12 and 18 — the last time the region hovered around 200 since late summer and mid-spring.
BCCDC local health area Tri-Cities - Dec. 24, 2021
COVID-19 local health area case numbers for Dec. 12-18, 2021.

Experts have said while the symptoms of COVID-19's Omicron variant are more on the mild side, its transmissibility is faster than other forms of the virus.

And that's been proven with new data presented by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

The Tri-Cities recorded 193 infections between Dec. 12 and 18 — the latest geographic distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence data collected and published by the BCCDC.

This marks a 250 per cent increase compared to 54 the week of Dec. 5.

It's the largest jump in cases across Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra since infections jumped by nearly 150 per cent the week of Feb. 7.

The last time the Tri-Cities flirted with 200 local health-area cases was when 196 were recorded during the final days of August.

The region recorded the second-highest new weekly count across its neighbouring Fraser Health areas. Surrey remains B.C.'s hotspot for the virus with 298 cases.

Today (Dec. 23), cases surged once more to 2,046 across B.C., the province's highest one-day total since the beginning of the pandemic.

The latest count of cases related to the Omicron variant was 975 from Tuesday (Dec. 21), including 456 in Fraser Health

B.C.'s COVID-19 modelling group says the growth rate of Omicron cases is estimated to be between 23 and 29 per cent per day. At that rate of transmission, cases would double roughly every three days.

Whatever the case, the models agree on one thing, "B.C. is facing an Omicron tidal wave."

"Regardless of the value of the unknown parameters, we expect [the] number of people in hospital to exceed that previously seen in the pandemic by mid-January," write the researchers in their latest report.

What’s needed, sayi the independent group of scientists, is to buy more time for booster vaccinations, which according to preliminary data, have proven to reduce severe Omicron infection

As of this publication (Dec. 23), 13 per cent of all eligible Tri-City residents have received a third dose of vaccine against COVID-19 — predominantly among the elderly and immuno-compromised.

Meanwhile, 90.2 per cent of the region's eligible 12-years-and-up population have been inoculated with two vaccine doses, while 92.4 per cent have one jab in their shoulder.

Five- to 11-year-old kids in the Tri-Cities holds a near 35 per cent first-dose rate, which is currently the third-highest in Fraser Health as that category remains in the early stages of its vaccine rollout.


The Tri-Cities' lone vaccination clinic over the holidays is only accepting eligible residents by appointment, whether it's for first second or third doses.

The Coquitlam Central Station's Park and Ride overflow lot has also adjusted its operating schedule with the holidays fast approaching.

The clinic will be closed Friday to Sunday (Dec. 24-26), New Year's Eve (Dec. 31) and New Year's Day (Jan. 1, 2022).

If it's your first dose against COVID-19, you will need your personal health number and a piece of ID.

Kids aged five to 11 are also welcome to receive their first vaccination against the virus.

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 70 years and older, as well as those classified as immuno-compromised.

The station's 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, Sundays and holidays
    • 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