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COVID cases continue to drop as North Shore 'bending the curve'

Detailed information shows rates of infection higher in part of West Van in the last week; between 40 and 60 per cent of North Shore adults have received first dose of vaccine

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to fall on the North Shore.

The “curve” of new infections appears to be finally bending as local cases dropped for the third straight week.

There were 94 new COVID infections in the week ending May 8, according to BC’s Centre for Disease Control, down from 160 reported May 1, and 261 reported two weeks ago.

The number of cases this week is also less than a third of the new cases being reported at the peak of the “third wave” on the North Shore in the middle of April.

Of the cases reported in the week ending May 8, 66 are in North Vancouver and 28 are in West Vancouver.

For the first time this week, the BC Centre for Disease Control also provided more detailed information about where cases have been occurring, as well as information on vaccination rates.

Western part of North Shore has highest infection rates

That data (which tracked cases from May 4 to 10) showed the lowest rates of infection in the eastern half of the District of North Vancouver as well as in the Ambleside area of West Vancouver. Positivity rates there are between one and three per cent. The western and upper part of West Vancouver, including Dundarave, Caulfeild and the British Properties, had the highest infection rates on the North Shore, with positivity rates of between five and 10 per cent.

The previous week, that pattern was reversed, however, according to just released data, with West Vancouver showing a lower positivity rate and the eastern portion of North Vancouver showing a higher rate.

The central area of the North Shore, including most of the City of North Vancouver, fell in the middle of those both weeks.

A graph showing rates of new infections by community showed Surrey, Abbotsford and Mission continue to have much higher rates of infection and much higher case counts than most other Lower Mainland communities. Within Vancouver Coastal Health, neighbourhoods in Vancouver continue to have the highest rates of infection. Rates of new infection in most of West Vancouver and North Vancouver remained between about six and nine daily cases per 100,000 overall.

40 - 60 per cent of local adults have received first dose

A map of vaccination coverage showed rates on the North Shore are comparable to other communities in the Lower Mainland with between 40 and 60 per cent of adults over 18 having received at least one dose of vaccine. In the Ambleside area, that number was even higher with between 60 and 80 per cent of adults vaccinated. Among adults over 55, 80 per cent of those eligible on the North Shore have been vaccinated, with the exception of a core part of the City of North Vancouver, where rates remained between 40 and 60 per cent.

Hospitalizations are dropping slowly in B.C. but continue to be high, with 423 people in hospital with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, including 141 people in intensive care.

Lions Gate Hospital is continuing to grapple with an outbreak of COVID-19 on two of its fourth floor wards, where a total of 33 people, including five staff have been infected.

According to the BC CDC, there have been 4,594 cases of COVID-19 on the North Shore since the pandemic began

As of Wednesday there have been 137,223 cases of the virus in B.C. since the start of the pandemic, with 5,887 active cases.

In the Vancouver Coastal Health region, there are currently 1,247 active cases, including 117 people in hospital and 48 in critical care.

About 2.7 million people in B.C. have now received a first dose of vaccine.