The number is still an eyebrow raiser, but at least it's a decrease.
Over the first full week of 2022, there were 1,843 COVID-19 local health infections recorded across Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra — the second-highest ever detected in the region since the pandemic was declared.
The majority of cases are linked to the Omicron variant, dubbed as highly transmissible by public health officials compared to other mutations.
That's a drop of a little more than 10 per cent compared to 2,055 from Boxing Day (Dec. 26, 2021) to New Year's Day (Jan. 1), which was the most cases associated with the virus found in a single week for the Tri-Cities.
The data is collected and published by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), accounting for the latest Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence between Jan. 2 and 8.
It's also the second-highest current case count across all of B.C. and one of three above the four-digit plateau.
Surrey nearly reached 3,000 with 2,960 COVID-19 local-health cases, while Greater Victoria recorded 1,012 last week.
Among the 16,438 active cases of the virus in Fraser Health, authority spokesperson Curtis Harling says about 90 per cent are associated with Omicron.
"It is important to note that not everyone needs to be tested. If you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to be tested," he explains in an email to the Tri-City News.
"You do not need to get a test if you are fully vaccinated, have mild symptoms and are able to self-isolate. If you are feeling unwell, assume you have COVID-19 and stay away from others until you feel better. If you have severe symptoms, seek medical help right away. It is important to follow public health advice to ensure tests are available for those who need them most.
"This will allow health care workers to prioritize care."
Those who do seek tests in the Tri-Cities at the Coquitlam COVID-19 testing and immunization centre are getting rapid antigen tests to take home, with a request they report the results if they test positive.
Only those who live and work in high-risk settings, such as health care workers, will receive PCR tests which includes saline/gargle.
If there is other good news to report, it's that the rate of infection has declined across the Tri-Cities as more eligible residents are electing to receive a booster vaccine against the virus — currently available to any resident who has waited at least six months after their second dose, as well as those classified as immuno-compromised.
Between Dec. 14, 2021, and Jan. 11, 2022, there was a 14 per cent increase to 25 per cent in terms of third-dose vaccination average among those aged 12 and up across Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra.
The BCCDC is also reporting a 45 per cent triple-vaccination rate among eligible residents aged 50 years and older in the region.
As well, 50 per cent of Tri-City children aged five to 11 have received a first dose of vaccine against the virus, currently the third highest in Fraser Health behind New Westminster (53) and South Surrey/White Rock (51).
There's also a 91 and 93 per cent rate among those aged 12 and up for double- and single-dose vaccinations respectively.
One COVID-19 outbreak remains in the Tri-Cities after the alert for Port Coquitlam's Hawthorne Lodge ended on Tuesday (Jan. 11).
Five patients in the elder acute-care unit at Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody (475 Guildford Way) have tested positive for the virus since Jan. 5 — the fourth known outbreak at the facility.
Six people admitted to the regional hospital have died due to complications with COVID-19 among a total of 51 infections since the pandemic began.
Fraser Health says the elder acute-care ward is still closed for admissions, but the hospital's emergency room is still open.
No other departments has been impacted since safety precautions were implemented.
A COVID-19 mass immunization clinic coming back soon to Coquitlam's Poirier Forum (618 Poirier St.).
Between March 15 and Sept. 3, 2021, eligible residents came to receive a dose against COVID-19 before this location closed for the fall and sports groups were able to use the covered outdoor athletic facility once again
It's still unclear as of this publication when it will officially open for appointments.
Fraser Health is set to focus on administering booster doses for eligible residents at the forum, as well as first vaccine inoculations for children aged five to 11 back with boosters.
"Community support of the BC Immunization Plan is critical to the province’s response to and recovery from COVID-19, and immunity in our community," says Graham Stuart, Coquitlam's EOC public information officer.
You can visit the province's website for more information on its COVID-19 immunization plan.
More information is available on Fraser Health's website.
Meanwhile, the immunization clinic and testing centre at Coquitlam Central SkyTrain station's park and ride overflow lot is still open for first, second or third doses of vaccine against COVID-19.
The 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