Low dose rate in Nelson LHA, high geographic distribution of cases: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

·3 min read

Nelson’s low second dose vaccination rate may be tied to the overall cases of COVID-19 infection, according to the latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control data.

As of May 23, 75 per cent of people living in the Nelson local health area (LHA) have the second dose, the fifth lowest rate out of 31 LHAs in the Interior Health Authority — across the province, out of 85 LHAs the Nelson LHA ranked 72nd for the second dose.

According to the geographic distribution of COVID-19 by local health area or case residence, Nelson doesn’t stand out as much when compared to the rest of the West Kootenay. Although Trail is at 85 per cent and Castlegar is 80 per cent, Creston is 70, Kootenay Lake (North Shore and East Shore) is 70 and the Arrow Lakes — which includes the Slocan Valley — is 75 per cent.

However, when looking at cumulative cases from January, 2020 to April 2022, there were 2,351 cases in Nelson LHA, well ahead of the 1,645 in Trail — the site of the regional hospital — and almost triple Castlegar’s 879 and Creston’s 799.

The Arrow Lakes LHA was 188 and Kootenay Lake (North Shore and East Shore) was 98, while Grand Forks was 521.

In the last week — May 15-21 — Nelson cases leveled off at five, half of the 10 that Trail reported during that same time.

Broader view

“Incidence” of infection by health authority from week 18 to week 19:

- Fraser Health incidence decreased from 36 to 30 per 100,000;

- Interior Health incidence decreased from 52 to 46 per 100,000;

- Vancouver Island Health incidence decreased from 43 to 29 per 100,000;

- Northern Health decreased from 31 to 29 per 100,000; and

• Vancouver Coastal Health incidence was stable at 25 per 100,000.

Mortality rates

The weekly number of deaths from any cause among people testing positive for COVID-19 was stable at 86 in week 18 and 85 in week 19.

In week 19, the 60-and-over age category had the highest number of deaths from any cause among people testing positive for COVID-19, with 23 deaths in 60-79 year-olds and 57 in 80 and over age category.

The number of people in hospital with a positive COVID-19 test decreased from 395 in week 18 to 359 in week 19.

In week 19, the 60-and-over age category year-olds had the highest number of people in hospital with a positive COVID-19 test, with 127 hospitalizations in 60-79 year-olds and 136 hospitalizations in the 80-and-over age category.

- Source: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Report on seniors

The findings of the B.C. Office of the Seniors Advocate report — Staying Apart to Stay Safe: The Impact of Visit Restrictions on Long-Term Care and Assisted Living Survey — were also recently released.

The report was based on a survey of B.C. care home residents and family members and was conducted between Aug. 26 and Sept. 30, 2020, and found the following:

- At the time of the survey, only 25 per cent of families visited several times a week — less than half as many as before the pandemic (55 per cent);

- During the pandemic, one in three visits was 30 minutes or less, whereas before the pandemic only four per cent of visits were 30 minutes or less;

- When family visits increased, 61 per cent of visitors reported that their family members in care facilities had worsened cognitive function (58 per cent), mood and emotional wellbeing (58 per cent), and/or physical functioning (46 per cent) since the restrictions began; and

- Only 40 per cent of long-term care residents had access to a personal phone, and almost three-quarters of the residents required help to make a telephone or video call.

- Source: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily

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