Northeast BC recorded 135 COVID-19 cases between February 13th to 19th, according to recent BC Centre for Disease Control data.

There were 70 cases reported in the North Peace, 60 in the South Peace, and five in Fort Nelson.

This data doesn’t accurately reflect all cases in the region, as the province changed their testing procedures last month. However, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Wednesday that rapid tests will soon be available in some B.C. pharmacies free of charge, starting for those aged 70 and older.

Dix said 12 million more tests are expected to arrive in the province over the next month, with over 865,000 tests already available to be distributed through pharmacies.

The province has sent out over 14.8 million tests of the 22.2 million received between December 13th and February 22nd to hospital workers, schools, testing sites, long-term care and assisted living, and rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

In the Northern Health region, there are 66 people in hospital; 14 of them are in critical care.

The number of Fort St. John residents who are fully vaccinated is 17,568, or 78.2 per cent, with 6,659 people, or 29.6 per cent, having received their booster dose.

In Dawson Creek, 71 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated, with 31.2 per cent having received their third dose.

Over half of rural residents in the North Peace are fully vaccinated at 55.7 per cent, with 21.5 per cent also getting the third jab.

In the rural areas of the South Peace, 59.9 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated, with 24.9per cent receiving the booster.

According to Dr. Bonnie Henry, a new vaccine is on its way to B.C. in the next week. She called Health Canada’s approval of Novavax’s vaccine “great news”.