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COVID cases rise to new record levels on North Shore

North Vancouver and West Vancouver reported 339 new COVID-19 infections in the past week

COVID case counts continue to climb to new records on the North Shore as the province struggles with the third wave of the pandemic.

There were 339 new infections reported on the North Shore for the week ending April 10, according to B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control – the highest number recorded yet. That number has edged up from the 316 cases reported last week and the 272 cases reported two weeks ago. For the second week in a row the number of cases topped 300 on the North Shore.

Of the cases reported in the past week, 223 are in North Vancouver and 116 are in West Vancouver.

Both North and West Vancouver now have an average daily infection rate of over 20 per 100,000.

North Vancouver has an average daily infection rate of approximately 21 per 100,000. While numbers are smaller in West Vancouver, its smaller population means the average daily infection rate there is actually much higher – at about 37 daily cases per 100,000 people.

Case numbers are up this week in much of the Lower Mainland – particularly in the Tri-Cities area and Burnaby, where cases jumped by a third, and in Surrey, where cases are up by about 25 per cent this week.

Cases in Whistler and the surrounding Howe Sound communities appear to have dropped this week, with 337 new cases reported for the week of April 10, compared to 410 cases reported for the week ending April 3. Infections in that community have notably included cases of the P.1 variant first identified in Brazil, which has tended to be identified in younger adults.

According to B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control, most of the P.1 variants – over 1,000 cases – have been reported in the Vancouver Coastal Health area. The majority of B117 variant cases, first identified in Britain, have been reported in Fraser Health, although there have also been over 600 cases in VCH.

A number of COVID cases on the North Shore also appear to have been linked to travel to Whistler in March. Most cases are being spread between household members and through social gatherings, according to health authorities.

The rising case counts have been reflected in a recent flurry of COVID exposure notices in North Shore schools.

Lions Gate Hospital has also been under increased pressure from the rising number of hospitalizations among COVID patients from both the North Shore and the greater Coast Garibaldi health area, including Whistler and Howe Sound communities.

Although no statistics are available for local health areas or local hospitals, provincially, the median age of hospitalization has fallen to 61. Provincewide, there have been a number of younger people admitted to hospital and to ICU. Between the beginning of the pandemic and the week of April 3, there were 80 deaths in people between the ages of 30 and 60 in B.C.

According to B.C.’s CDC, cases of COVID-19 have continued to rise in young adults, and cases in teens and children have also been on the increase. Positivity rates for tests in Vancouver Coastal Health are hovering between 10 and 11 per cent.

B.C. had reported a total of 114,870 cases as of Wednesday (April 14) with 9,821 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There were 2,968 active cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

From the beginning of the pandemic to the end of March 2021 there had been 3,394 cases reported on the North Shore, including  2,459 in North Vancouver and 935 in West Vancouver.