Coronavirus: Tri-Cities reports 104 new lab-confirmed weekly cases

The region posted a triple-digit total for the third time in five weeks as symptoms of the virus appear to be changing.

20 appears to be the Tri-Cities number when it comes to COVID-19 cases recorded weekly.

However, it turned lower this time and brought the area back to the triple digits.

104 lab-confirmed cases of the virus were found in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Pilkara between 1-7 May.

The most recent data available by the British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) was calculated at a 20 per cent increase over the first seven days of the month compared to the 87 found in the previous report – from April 24-30.

This was a 20 percent decrease from the 109 detected in the previous week (April 17-23).

It’s the third time in five weeks that Tri-Cities have recorded more than 100 infections according to the BCCDC’s COVID-19 geographic distribution through residence-state local health district data.

In fact, the seven-day average since the beginning of April is currently 101.

But that’s also amid tighter testing restrictions that British Columbia public health officials implemented as early as December in an effort to allow those with serious symptoms, and those most vulnerable to the virus, to be treated as quickly as possible.

The county health official, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has advised on several occasions those who have been vaccinated and have mild symptoms not to get tested and simply self-isolate.

Tri-Cities was one of four regions across British Columbia with triple digits for the latest count of local COVID-19 cases.

Ranked 104th was the third-highest in the county – second in Fraser Health – alongside Surrey (212), Victoria (118) and Central Okanagan (102).

Changing symptoms?

And while fewer people visit clinics to get tested for COVID-19, it appears that many are using the HealthLink BC phone line for guidance on whether or not they have symptoms of the virus.

The number of COVID-19 patients in British Columbia hospitals rose by 46 in the past week, to 596 on Thursday (May 12), the highest number since February 25, when there were 599 patients.

But most people who test positive for the virus won’t end up in the hospital — and some may certainly develop mild symptoms.

Dr. Brian Conway, MD, medical director at the Vancouver Infectious Disease Center (VIDC) and assistant professor in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapy, said, icy media People should continue to look out for COVID-19 respiratory symptoms.

“It’s still a respiratory illness: a cough and shortness of breath … and viral components of it, headaches, muscle aches, things like that. It’s still there,” he explained.

However, the doctor noted that people who have been vaccinated may experience “very mild” symptoms, such as a sore throat, mild coughing and sneezing.

“I would recommend anyone experiencing nausea to go for a COVID test,” he said, noting that many people who have tested positive for the virus feel far from having an upset stomach.

But Conway cannot say for sure whether Ommicron’s symptoms are different or if they look different because such a high percentage of the population has been vaccinated. Furthermore, there are several variants of the Omicron strain spread throughout the population.

Vaccination update

In Tri-Cities, the average double vaccination against COVID-19 finally reached 90 percent after several weeks at a steady 89 percent.

This includes added data for children ages 5 to 11 since the group became eligible for the second vaccine.

The average first dose in the region remains unchanged at 92 percent, the fifth in Fraser Health to reach that plateau after Burnaby, New Westminster, Delta and Surrey.

Also, 75 percent of eligible residents age 50 or older in the three cities received a booster dose against the virus. The third vaccine began rolling out to the general public in British Columbia in January.

In an effort to meet the remaining demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, Fraser Health still has its polyclinic in Coquitlam.

The Immunization and Testing Center is located at Coquitlam Central SkyTrain Station (2900 Barnet Hwy.) in the overflow parking and riding area within the following operating hours:

  • From 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    • Mariner Road Entrance – East side of Rona. Advance down the ramp and turn right
    • The heading will direct you to the main widget on the left but the COVID-19 services are located in the overflow area on the right
    • Don’t cut through the Rona car park. Please follow the tags

Anyone seeking a vaccine against COVID-19 is encouraged to register via BC’s online GetVaccinated portal or call 1-833-838-2323.

You can also visit the county’s website for more information about the COVID-19 immunization plan.

There is also a multi-vaccination clinic in the Poirier Admin Building (640 Poirier St.), giving parents and guardians of babies as young as four months the opportunity to receive a number of different vaccinations.

This includes:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine

    • For eligible children and teens ages five and over

  • Tdap-IPV Vaccine

    • Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and polio

  • MMRV . Vaccine

    • Protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox

– Files from Elana Shepert, Great Vancouver

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