The BC CDC is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 in the Golden area for the week of July 18 to 24, the first time that there have been no new cases since the last week of June.
Revelstoke and Windermere each saw one new case in the same time, with three in Kimberley and four in Cranbrook. Fernie saw no new cases.
However, cases continue to rise provincially, most notably in Interior Health. The rise in cases is enough to prompt further local health restrictions in the central Okanagan area (Kelowna), where masks are once again mandatory after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared.
The health authority is also discouraging travel into the Central Okanagan for non-essential purposes, especially if they are not vaccinated.
“As we move out of the pandemic, we no longer need to take broad restrictions to stem the transmissions of the virus, but we still need to take some measures to stop transmission in certain communities,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Interior Health is reported lower vaccination rates than the provincial average, with the majority of new COVID-19 infections coming from people who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, according to Interior Health.
Golden is still reporting some of the best vaccination coverage in the province, with 82 per cent of those 12+ receiving their first dose as of July 26, and 69 per cent receiving their second dose.
Provincially, approximately 80 per cent of those 12+ have their first dose, and 62 per cent have received their second dose.
According to the BC CDC, between June 15 and July 15, 68 per cent of new cases have been in unvaccinated people, 28 per cent in partially vaccinated. Unvaccinated people account for 78 per cent of hospitalizations and 71 per cent of deaths.
There are approximately 900,000 eligible British Columbians who have not gotten a vaccine shot yet. Interior Health has the second highest percentage of eligible unvaccinated adults.
Variants of concern are driving the rise in cases, with 97 per cent of new cases being one of the variants. The delta variant has seen a significant rise and is now the second most dominant strain of COVID-19, accounting for 41 per cent of new cases.
Studies consistently show that both mRNA and AstraZeneca vaccines remain highly effective against the Delta variant, especially against severe outcomes, according to the BC CDC. Vaccinated individuals tend to have milder illness if they get infected and are also less likely to pass virus on than unvaccinated individuals.
Maps of new cases reported each week in each local health area can be found on the BC Centre for Disease Control website under BC COVID-19 data. Also available are graphs from the BCCDC Comparisons App showing how each health authority is doing in terms of positive test rates by month.
Register for the vaccine at getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or call 1-833-838-2323.