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COVID-19 cases rise to 13 on Sunshine Coast

Powell River cases jump to 15 from 2
Sechelt Vaccine WEB
A COVID-19 vaccine clinic was held at the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre on April 15.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 13 last week on the Sunshine Coast, continuing an upward trend that’s lasted since mid-March

The 13 cases reported by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) between April 4 and 10 marks the highest weekly total since early January, when 21 cases were reported for the week of Jan. 10 to 16.

Since then weekly cases have largely hovered in the low single digits, before a three-week increase began March 20.

The Sunshine Coast COVID Physician Task Force alerted residents in their latest update to the community, released April 13, that “although we are doing better than many other places in the province, our local COVID-19 numbers have continued to rise over the past week, with an average of two positive tests per day since last Wednesday [April 7].”

Surrounding local health areas saw more dramatic escalation.

Last week cases in Powell River jumped to 15 from two.

The region had not seen more than five confirmed cases – hovering mostly around zero to two – since late November, when BCCDC began publishing weekly data on local health areas.

Howe Sound, which includes the hard-hit municipality of Whistler, continues to battle a far higher surge, with 337 cases reported between April 4 and 10. The week before, the area hit a record-breaking 410 cases – amounting to about one per cent of the region’s population.

The stubbornly high levels of transmission prompted the launch of a vaccination program specific to the municipality – with people over the age of 18 invited to get a shot at clinics from April 14 to 18.

Immunizations, meanwhile, are underway on the Sunshine Coast – with one of two clinics scheduled for April moving ahead at the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre on April 15, where at least 800 people were expected to receive a dose of vaccine.

The second clinic is scheduled for April 27.

Vaccine is also available to anyone aged 55 and older at participating Sunshine Coast pharmacies, pending supply. The BC Pharmacy Association announced April 14 the upper age limit of 65 had been removed for the pharmacy program delivering the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Participating pharmacies can be accessed on the BC Pharmacy Association’s website. Vaccine distribution and booking protocols are determined by individual pharmacies.