This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from May 2 to 8, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from May 2 to 8, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)

Active COVID-19 cases in Delta down to six-week low

169 cases May 2 to 8; overall number in Fraser Health down for the third week in a row

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Delta fell to a six-week low last week.

Every Wednesday, the BC Centre for Disease Control releases a map showing the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases by local health area of residence. The latest weekly map shows Delta had 169 cases for the week of May 2 to May 8, 51 fewer than the week previous.

Delta’s case total had been falling for two weeks before going up by 28 the week ending May 1. Previous to that, the numbers had been climbing for 10 straight weeks before hitting a record high of 262 the week ending April 10.

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The overall number of active cases in the Fraser Health region decreased for the third straight week to 2,985, down 672 from the week previous.

All but four of the 13 local health areas in the Fraser Health region saw decreases from the previous week, most notably in the “hot spots” of Surrey (1,409, down 262) and Tri-Cities (167, down 110), as well as Abbotsford (408, down 90) Burnaby (247, down 62) and Langley (161, down 64).

Wednesday’s map release came as health officials reported 600 new COVID-19 cases in the province over the past 24 hours — 394 of those in the Fraser Health region — for a total of5,887 active cases in the province, and one new death. B.C. has seen a total of 137,223 cases and 1,625 deaths since the pandemic began.

THE LATEST: B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday (May 12, 2021)

Last week, health officials announced they would begin regularly releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID-19 case counts, test positivity rates and immunization rates. Data released Wednesday (May 12) shows North Delta had an average seven-day rate of between 20.1 and 40 cases per 100,000 people for the week of May 4 to 10. The rest of Delta, by comparison, had a rate of between 0.1 to 5 cases per 100,000 people.

Test positivity rates in Delta for the week of May 4 to 10 varied widely across the three community health service areas (CHSAs). Unsurprisingly, North Delta had the highest rate, between 10.1 to 20 per cent, while Tsawwassen (comprising the Delta community and Tsawwassen First Nation) had the lowest rate, between 1.1 and 2 per cent. Ladner, meanwhile, had a rate of between 3.1 and 5 per cent.

Vaccine coverage was more even across the CHSAs. Over 80 per cent of adults aged 55 and over, and between 41 and 60 per cent of adults 18, have received at least their first does of vaccine. Coverage of adults 18 and over was higher in Tsawwassen — between 61 and 80 per cent.

RELATED: B.C. adults 30+ now eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 (May 13, 2021)

SEE ALSO: B.C. to use remaining AstraZeneca vaccine for 2nd doses (May 13, 2021)

The most recent BC CDC map showing total cumulative cases by local health area from the start of the pandemic through the end of April 2021 shows there were a total of 4,327 COVID-19 cases in Delta through to April 30, meaning there were 990 new cases last month, compared to 614 in March.

The map also shows there were 7,043 new cases in Surrey in April, compared to 4,406 in March, and 17,086 new cases across the Fraser Health region, compared to 10,554 in March. Vancouver Coastal Health, meanwhile, had 7,497 new cases in April, compared to 5,726 in March.

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cumulative cases

As of Thursday morning (May 13), there were no outbreaks at any Delta long-term care, assisted living or independent living facilities or public exposure notifications.

Health officials have temporarily closed two Delta workplaces due to the number of cases among their workers. Frankfurt Doner Kebab, located at 140 – 8047 Scott Road, was closed on May 7, while West Bay Son Ship Yacht Builders Ltd., located at 8295 River Road, was closed on May 5.

The closure follows an announcement by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry April 8 that workplaces with three or more people who have COVID-19 and likely transmission in the workplace will be ordered to close, unless it is in the overriding public interest to keep it open. The closure generally last for 10 days unless otherwise determined by health officials.

RELATED: Grocery store workers now eligible for COVID vaccines in Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal (May 6, 2021)

SEE ALSO: B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19 (May 5, 2021)

Meanwhile, Fraser Health’s website listed exposures at 10 Delta schools as of Thursday morning: Burnsview Secondary (April 30, May 3, 4, 5 and 6), Chalmers Elementary (May 6 and 7), Cougar Canyon Elementary (May 4 and 5), Delview Secondary (May 3 and 5), Gibson Elementary (May 3, 4 and 5), Jarvis Traditional Elementary (April 29 and May 3), North Delta Secondary (April 29, May 3, 4 and 6), Pinewood Elementary (May 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7), Sunshine Hill Elementary (May 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7), Southpointe Academy (April 30).

Fraser Health defines exposure as “a single person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.” Two or more individuals is defined as a cluster, while an outbreak describes a situation involving “multiple individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections when transmission is likely widespread within the school setting.”

On May 7, Fraser Health released a retrospective analysis of COVID-19 cases in schools aimed at helping determine clusters and transmission dynamics. The report analyzed cases in students and staff at both public and private schools reported to public health over a 66-day period between Jan. 1 and March 7, 2021.

The report shows there was a cumulative total of 830 cases in the city during that time, 88 of them students attending schools in Delta, and clusters or outbreaks at seven local schools, all of them in North Delta. There were eight known incidents of in-school transmission; seven were student-to-student and one staff-to-staff. One of those student-to-student cases was a variant of concern.

Overall, of the 2,049 cases found among school staff, teachers and students in the health region, Fraser Health considers 267 –13 per cent – to be school-acquired. Of those, 88 led to community or household spread.

However, Fraser Health data shows there were an additional 333 cases with “suspect acquisition in school” that were not included in the 267 confirmed school acquired cases. If those cases were added to school-based infections, that would more than double the percentage teachers and students who caught COVID-19 at school from 13 per cent to 29 per cent.

RELATED: Fraser Health still unsure if 333 cases of COVID among students, teachers were acquired in school (May 12, 2021)

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