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Omicron reaches Interior Health as COVID-19 numbers top B.C.

First 3 cases of latest variant detected in IH

Daily case counts of COVID-19 across the province have peaked in Interior Health for the first time in months.

Ministry of Health numbers for Tuesday, Dec. 14 show IH with 145 new cases. It’s the most new cases in B.C., compared to 123 in Island Health, 110 in Fraser Health, 106 in Vancouver Coastal and 34 in Northern Health.

The latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control also shows that there have been three cases of the Omicron variant detected in IH.

Up to Dec. 12, 44 cases of Omicron have been identified in B.C. using whole genome sequencing, which is now being applied to almost all positive test results in the province.

Of those cases, 24 have been detected in the Fraser Health region, 11 in Vancouver Coastal, five on Vancouver Island, three in Interior Health and one in Northern Health. Of the 44 cases, 20 people have recent travel histories to Africa, Iran, Mexico, Germany, Portugal and the U.S.

“We do know that Omicron is more infectious than Delta,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. “What we don’t know is how much more.”

No deaths were reported in B.C. Dec. 14, nor were there any health care facility outbreaks.

As of Tuesday 91.9 per cent (3.9 million) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose, 89.1 per cent (3.8 million) received their second dose and 14 per cent (609,466) have received a third dose.

B.C. is reporting 519 new cases of COVID-19, including eight epi-linked cases, for a total of 223,661 cases in the province.

There are 3,171 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 218,001 people who tested positive have recovered. Of the active cases, 191 individuals are in hospital and 81 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

“People who are getting sick are people who don’t have the protection that vaccination affords, across all age groups,” Henry said.

- with files from Tom Fletcher, Black Press Media

READ MORE: Vaccine effectiveness confirmed in latest COVID-19 B.C. data

READ MORE: B.C.’s vaccine card expected to extend past January; officials look at medical exemptions


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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