Trending in the wrong direction.
For a second consecutive week, the Tri-Cities saw a jump in weekly COVID-19 cases and it comes as B.C. has lifted almost all of its pandemic mandates, which now includes the vaccine card.
There were 108 lab-confirmed and recorded infections across Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra.
The number was calculated between April 3 and 9 as part of the BC Centre for Disease Control's (BCCDC) latest Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence report.
That's a 74 per cent hike compared to the 62 found between March 27 and April 2, and 227 per cent from the 33 detected between March 20 and 26 — the lowest since cases peaked over the final week of 2021.
All the numbers published today (April 14) are amid tighter testing restrictions by B.C. public health officials.
However, it's the first time since the middle of February the Tri-Cities has seen a triple-digit infection count.
During the week of Feb. 13, the BCCDC recorded 114 cases in the region before dropping to 59 in the seven days that followed.
On April 8, B.C. officially lifted its proof-of-vaccination mandate for non-essential services, like restaurants, and indoor ticketed events, like sports games and concerts.
However, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry advised it may not disappear completely as some events, venues and businesses may still choose to keep and implement the vaccine card for patrons to access.
"Each business has to do its own due diligence," she said.
The Tri-Cities' 108 cases are the second highest in Fraser Health — Surrey at 116 — and the fifth highest in all of B.C.
EAGLE RIDGE OUTBREAK
The new data is also released as Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody is in the middle of its fifth COVID-19 outbreak since the pandemic began.
Fraser Health says an acute care unit is impacted as of April 7, but the number of potential cases among patients and staff remains unknown.
The Tri-City News has asked the authority for the latest available data, but they've yet to respond to our request.
The last outbreak at Eagle Ridge ended Jan. 18 in the elder acute care unit after eight infections were detected in a 13-day span — five patients and three staff members.
No deaths were recorded, but six lives have been claimed at Eagle Ridge by complications with COVID-19 from outbreaks since the pandemic began.
All of them took place during the first declaration in March 2021.
The Tri-Cities' triple-vaccination rate against COVID-19 remains at 57 per cent, as of this publication.
The region's single- and double-dose rates are at 92 and 89 per cent respectively among eligible residents aged five years and older.
And B.C. is set to roll out a second COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign as early as late May, but will only apply to some people.
It's set to be available for at-risk residents, including those aged 70 years and older, those in long-term care homes and Indigenous people over 55.
"It may be that we will recommend a booster dose for more people," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry during a news conference on April 5, adding she does not foresee offering boosters to the general population in the near future.
"It could be that we’ll need maybe an annual booster."
Eligible residents looking to receive a vaccination against COVID-19 over Easter can do so in Coquitlam.
The mass immunization centre, as well as the multi-vaccination clinic at the Poirier Admin Building (640 Poirier St.), are scheduled to be open through the long weekend, including the Good Friday statutory holiday (April 15).
The Coquitlam Central SkyTrain Station's park-and-ride overflow lot's operating hours are:
- 2900 Barnet Hwy.
- 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- 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
You can also visit the province's website for more information on its COVID-19 immunization plan.
Kids as young as four months old can receive a number of different vaccinations at a makeshift clinic Fraser health implemented last month to provide a convenient option for parents and guardians.
- COVID-19 vaccine
- For eligible children and adolescents aged five and older
- Tdap-IPV vaccine
- Protects against tetanus diphtheria, whooping cough and polio
- MMRV vaccine
- Protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox