New COVID-19 case numbers are at their lowest point since October in the eastern Fraser Valley, but the cumulative total rate is now the second highest in the province.
Between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28, there were 299 positive cases of COVID-19 in the Fraser Valley East health region, which encompasses Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz. Fraser North had 355 cases, and Fraser South had 717.
These new case numbers are also the first time since mid-November that the region is seeing an average daily rate of fewer than 15 new cases per 100,000 people. In early December, Fraser East had around 24 new cases per 100,000 people each day. Now, it has around 14 new daily cases per 100,0000 people.
Fraser South and Fraser North have also been seeing drops in their daily rate of cases, with Fraser North seeing between nine and seven daily cases per 100,000 and Fraser South dipping down to 13 new cases per 100,000 last week.
Fraser East currently has the highest rate of new cases in the Fraser Health region.
In addition, Fraser East is also seeing the second highest cumulative rate of COVID-19 in the province.
For every 100,000 people, 2,276 people in Fraser East have tested positive with COVID-19 — or around one of every 50 people. This comes only second to Fraser South, which has seen 3,165 of every 100,000 people test positive, or 3 of every 100 people.
The next closest regions for total COVID-19 cases are Vancouver, with around 1,581 cases per 100,000 people, and the Northwest health service delivery area, with around 1,411 cases per 100,000.
Who has the highest rate of total COVID-19 cases will change as different regions become hot spots for the virus. Unlike the average daily rate, these numbers cannot go down.
Provincial COVID-19 case counts were trending downwards from its height in mid-November, in large part due to the decrease of cases in Fraser South. However, B.C.’s new cases have averaged around 500 a day during January, prompting provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix to ask residents to double down on their efforts.
“The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 is much higher than we want it to be,” they said in a joint news release on Jan. 26. “We are asking for everyone’s help to bend our curve back down. This is especially critical with the presence of variant viruses in our province.”