Northern Health reports 13 COVID-19 cases between April 3rd to 9th

Northeast B.C. reported 13 COVID-19 cases between April 3rd to 9th, according to recent BC Centre for Disease Control data.

There were four cases reported in the North Peace, nine in the South Peace, and none in Fort Nelson.

The BCCDC notes that not all COVID-19 infected individuals are tested and reported.

In the Northern Health region, there are 11 people in hospital, with one person in critical care.

No COVID-19-related deaths were reported in the region since last week. In total, there have been 330 reported deaths in the north.

According to the BCCDC, 7,168 cases have been reported in the northeast since the beginning of the pandemic, with 3,785 in the North Peace, 2,932 in the South Peace, and 451 in Fort Nelson.

As of April 20th, 17,766 Fort St. John residents are fully vaccinated, which is 79.1 per cent of the population. Only 7,032 residents have received their booster dose.

In Dawson Creek, 9,684, or 71.6 per cent, are fully vaccinated, while 4,388 people have received a third dose.

In rural areas of the North Peace, 4,714 residents are fully vaccinated, while 1,862 people have received their boosters.

In rural areas of the South Peace, 3,355 residents have received two doses, while 1,862 have received a third dose.

On April 7th, the province officially switched from releasing COVID data daily to weekly.

The health ministry said the reports would be similar to how other communicable diseases are reported, focusing on severity and trends over time.

Experts believe Canada needs better COVID-19 tracking system

Experts say Canada needs to look at developing a robust system for tracking COVID-19 infections to better inform the public about the prevalence of the virus in their communities in the absence of wide-scale PCR testing.

Dr. Caroline Colijn, a mathematician and epidemiologist at Simon Fraser University, says there are currently too many infections in Canada to expand access to PCR tests to everyone.

And while wastewater data is an important tool that can be used to estimate COVID-19 cases, she says it has a margin of error.  

Colijn anticipates an integrated system that would incorporate wastewater data and results from PCR and rapid antigen tests to paint a more accurate picture of how much COVID-19 is in a population.

Meanwhile, the scientific director of the panel advising Ontario on COVID-19 says a detection system is needed that can use a random sample in a population to try to understand what’s happening and which can be ramped up if needed.

Dr. Peter Juni says this would help give people enough situational awareness of how much COVID-19 is around them. 

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