COVID-19 weekly map update for last week of Jan 2021. (BC CDC photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake no longer a COVID-19 hotspot, but not out of danger yet

Cases go down from 11 new infections to 8 in the Jan. 24 to 30 week

For the latest weekly reporting period, from Jan. 24 to 30, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Burns Lake Local Health Area (LHA) saw a dramatic decrease in cases.

The map which divides the province into local health areas, shows the number of cases recorded there during each week from Sunday to Saturday. Each region is also shaded based on the daily cases per 100,000 residents in each area.

The Burns Lake LHA saw 8 new infections compared to 11 in the previous week, 33 the week before that and 20 in the first week of January.

The latest numbers brings the total case count for Burns Lake LHA to 157 since January 2020.

New caseloads in most of the surrounding Northwest Health Service Delivery Area LHAs for the last week of January were Nechako 8, Smithers 5, Terrace 61, Prince Rupert 15, Kitimat 4, Nisga’a 12, Upper Skeena 8, Haida Gwaii 4 and the aggregated LHAs of Snow Country, Telegraph Creek and Stikine at 0 cases.

MORE NEWS: B.C. expands mandatory mask rules in schools, rolls out ‘rapid response teams’

At the time of going to press, Northern Health had 71 new daily cases. There were 374 active cases with 18 hospitalized and 15 receiving critical care.

There have been 85 confirmed deaths and 3,213 patients considered to have recovered since the pandemic began.

The next update is expected to come out today, i.e. Wednesday.

On Feb. 6, the Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA) update for the period of Jan. 29 to Feb. 4 showed a total of 2,950 cases in the province, 13 of which were from unknown service delivery area and three in out-of-country residents. The next HSDA update will be released on Feb. 13.

The province had made masks mandatory in public indoor and retail spaces earlier in November 2020. The mask mandate has now been extended to schools with masks being made mandatory in middle schools and high schools except for three scenarios: when students are at their own desk or workstation, when they are eating or drinking and when there is a plexiglass barrier between them. This means that masks would be mandatory even if the students are interacting within their learning cohorts.

Masks will remain a “personal choice” for elementary school students. Speaking at a press conference on Feb. 4, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that the decision was made because young kids do not appear to develop severe disease as a result of the novel coronavirus, and that it’s difficult for children to wear masks properly without fiddling with them.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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