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Weekly Tri-City COVID-19 cases decline 35% — further away from 'hotspot' status amid tighter testing restrictions

This marks a sixth straight significant decrease as B.C. drops several public health orders for next phase of the pandemic.
BCCDC local health area Tri-Cities - Feb. 18, 2022
COVID-19 local health area case numbers for Feb. 6-12, 2022.

A lighter shade of purple.

Recorded local COVID-19 cases in the Tri-Cities continue to drop with the latest numbers revealing another significant weekly decline.

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) says infections decreased by 35 per cent to 165 between Feb. 6–12 compared to 251 from the previous published report (Jan. 30–Feb. 5).

For six consecutive weeks, cases have been dropping in communities like Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra since the region's peak of 2,055 the week of Christmas and New Year's (Dec. 25, 2021–Jan. 1, 2022).

However, the lower numbers collected week-after-week come amid tighter testing restrictions across the province.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has been telling vaccinated people with mild symptoms to self-isolate and not get tested in order to reserve testing capacity for those who have more serious cases or who are clinically vulnerable.

As a result, she called case count data "not accurate," and the province has stopped reporting data for how many people in B.C. they believe are actively infected.

Dr. Henry also lifted several public health orders in an effort to move on to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic while remaining aware of the Omicron variant spread, but those reduced orders only apply to those who are vaccinated.

This includes no capacity limits at restaurants, bars, nightclubs, ticketed sporting events, concerts and fitness centres.

Indoor and outdoor organized gatherings such as weddings and funerals can resume with full capacity, while indoor personal gatherings can return to normal.

B.C.'s vaccine card remains in effect for these facilities and events, as well as mandatory masks (aside from eating or drinking).

The provincial government said Tuesday (Feb. 15) it will "review" other restrictions, including the vaccine passport, mask order, long-term care and faith restrictions, by March 15 and April 12.

The 165 tallied in the Tri-Cities is the second highest in Fraser Health behind Surrey (455), according to the BCCDC's latest Geographic Distribution of COVID-19 by Local Health Area of Case Residence report.

However, there are currently seven other local health regions with higher counts.

This includes Central Okanagan (554) — B.C.'s current "hotspot" for the virus — Prince George (430), Kamloops (378), Victoria (216), Vernon (185), Penticton (170) and Nanaimo (167).


Meanwhile, the BCCDC has revised its data distribution by now publishing vaccination rates for all eligible residents aged five and up.

The organization added kids five-to-11 to the 12-and-older category, which now states that the Tri-Cities boasts 91 and 86 per cent rates respectively for first and second doses.

The same section has a 52 per cent triple-vaccination average — the third highest in all of Fraser Health — though kids have not yet been cleared to receive a booster shot against COVID-19 as of this publication.

There's a near 60 per cent three-dose rate among eligible Tri-City residents aged 18 years and older — tied for the second-highest in Fraser Health alongside New Westminster and Delta.

Booster doses among regional adolescents (12-17) have increased to 21 per cent from 10 in the previous week (Jan. 30-Feb. 5).

Tri-City residents above 50 years old account for 71 per cent of triple vaccinations, as well as 81 per cent for seniors 70 and up.

There are two clinics in Coquitlam where Tri-City residents can book an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The Poirier Forum's larger immunization station — 25,000 sq. ft. of space — is open seven days a week between 10:45 a.m. and 5:05 p.m. for first, second and third doses against the virus.

It's set to be open the same operating hours on Family Day Monday (Feb. 21).

As well, the Coquitlam Central SkyTrain station's park and ride overflow lot is open for appointment bookings, but will be closed on Sunday (Feb. 20) to give healthcare workers a break.

Its operating hours 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

Anyone seeking a vaccine against COVID-19 is encouraged to register via B.C.'s GetVaccinated online portal or call 1-833-838-2323.

You can also visit the province's website for more information on its COVID-19 immunization plan.

- with a file from Glen Korstrom, Business in Vancouver