Nelson still leads the West Kootenay in new COVID-19 cases, but cases rose sharply in Grand Forks and Trail.
The Nelson local health area, which includes Salmo and parts of the Slocan Valley, had 71 new cases during the week of Aug. 22 to 28, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) latest numbers, released Wednesday, Sept. 1.
That’s down from Nelson’s weekly record of 153 cases set the week before. The Nelson area has now had 453 cases since July 25, and a total of 596 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Creston, which has the lowest levels of fully vaccinated eligible people in the West Kootenay (63 per cent), had 53 new cases between Aug. 22 to 28, down three from the previous week.
Trail’s cases increased to 49 in the same period, up from 36 the week before, while new cases in Grand Forks more than doubled its new cases, topping out at 39 as of Aug. 28.
Castlegar saw a minor drop in new cases with 27, followed by five in the Kootenay Lake area and two in the Arrow Lakes region that includes Nakusp.
The Nelson area’s vaccinated population, meanwhile, has marginally increased.
As of Aug. 31, 74 per cent of eligible people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 65 per cent have received both doses, according to the BCCDC.
Meanwhile, 42 per cent of 12-to-17-year-olds are fully vaccinated, while 57 per cent of 18-to-49-year-olds have received two doses.
Seventy-six per cent of people 50 years of age and older, have received two doses.
Trail leads the West Kootenay, with 84 per cent of eligible people completely vaccinated. Castlegar follows at 77 per cent, followed by Grand Forks (74 per cent) and Arrow Lakes (74 per cent).
The latest numbers were released as protests erupted across the province, including downtown Nelson, over the provincial government’s plans to introduce a vaccine passport that will restrict unvaccinated people’s access to movie theatres, restaurants and sports events.