British Columbia

Fort St. John, Downtown Eastside health regions saw biggest COVID-19 surges in August

The health service delivery areas containing Fort St. John and Vancouver's Downtown Eastside had the highest proportionate jumps in positive cases of COVID-19 for the month of August, according to new numbers from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The local health service delivery areas saw the largest proportionate increases of the virus

A medical lab technician draws a blood sample for a point-of-care COVID-19 antibody test at the B.C Centre for Disease Control lab. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The health service delivery areas containing Fort St. John and Vancouver's Downtown Eastside had the highest proportionate jumps in positive cases of COVID-19 for the month of August, according to new numbers from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Each of the five regional health authorities in B.C. is broken into smaller separate zones or health service delivery areas.

On Monday, the centre released an updated map, current to Aug. 31, showing cumulative case counts of the virus broken down by local health region.

The Peace River North local health area, which includes Fort St. John, jumped from 13 cases at the end of July to 55 cases at the end of August — an increase of 323 per cent.

Vancouver Centre North, a tiny region which includes Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, saw 79 new cases, for a 179 per cent monthly increase.

Tap on the map for a closer look

However, the Vancouver Infectious Disease Centre (VIDC) — an independent nonprofit that provides clinical services, research and outreach on infectious diseases in the Downtown Eastside — has released new research indicating case counts for the DTES could be much higher.

The Fort St. John region, meanwhile, dealt with two exposure events in the month of August. The first occurred after several residents of the area traveled to Deadwood, Alta., for a prayer event that infected multiple people. The second was for several gatherings in the small community of Prespatou, approximately 90 kilometres north of Fort St. John.

Northern Health says both of those events are largely considered over, with no new connected cases actively being detected.

British Columbia, as a whole, went from a cumulative total of 3,684 cases of COVID-19 on Aug. 1 to 5,848 on Sept. 1.

 

With files from Justin McElroy

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