VICTORIA — Figures show children aged five to 11 in British Columbia are contracting COVID-19 at higher rates, with more than a third of that group’s total recent cases occurring this week.

The province says 550 cases were diagnosed this week in that age group from 14,295 total cases in the province between October 26th and November 1st.

Fifty-six of those children went to hospital, and four of them received critical care.

The province says cases among kids aged nine to 11 rose the most a few weeks after the start of the school year.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the number of cases overall among children is going down, while the rising cases are a reflection of transmission in areas where the vaccination rates are lower.

Overall, cases rose the most in the Interior region between August and late September before declining as the Northern region had a higher number of cases.