The weekly case counts for the province were updated on March 31. (BC CDC)

The weekly case counts for the province were updated on March 31. (BC CDC)

South Okanagan COVID-19 cases rise dramatically over last week

Cases rose to 33 cases for the most recent week from five the week before

Over the last week from March 21 to 27, the number of cases of COVID-19 spiked dramatically in Penticton and the South Okanagan.

Keremeos saw no new cases according to the weekly data from the B.C. Centre of Disease Control, while there were a total of 19 cases in Penticton and 14 in the area encompassing Oliver and Osoyoos.

Previously, from March 1 to 20, there were two new cases in Keremeos, two in the South Okanagan and one in Penticton reported.

READ MORE: The latest COVID-19 numbers for the South Okanagan

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control releases updated community-specific information on COVID-19 infection rates every Wednesday.

Just north of Penticton, in the Central Okanagan, 141 cases were recorded from March 21 to 27. The region’s most populous area has routinely recorded the highest number of cases in B.C.’s Interior.

Cases in the Okanagan are low relative to the rest of the province which has been experiencing a “third wave” in cases, according to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. On Wednesday (March 26) the province announced a record high of 1,013 new cases. The majority of the new cases were recorded in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (385) and the Fraser Health region (458).

READ MORE: B.C. hits record high of 1,013 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

The recent rise in cases is partly because of the spread of three variant strains that are being tracked in B.C., according to provincial health officials.

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