Active COVID-19 cases in Delta dipped last week after reaching their highest point in over three months the week before.
The latest weekly map released by the BC Centre for Disease Control showing the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases by local health area (LHA) of residence shows Delta had 55 cases for the week of Aug. 29 to Sept. 4, 26 fewer than the week before’s 81 cases — the most cases since the week ending May 29.
Seven weeks earlier (the week ending July 17), Delta marked the fewest active cases in the city (2) since the BC CDC began releasing LHA-level data on Dec. 5, 2020.
The overall number of active cases in the Fraser Health region increased by 251 the week ending Aug. 28 (for a total of 1,510), the eighth time in nine weeks that case totals have increased after nearly three months of falling COVID numbers. It was also the third week in a row of 1,000+ cases, a mark not hit since the week ending May 29.
Eleven of the 13 local health areas (LHAs) in the region saw increases from the previous week, most notably in Abbotsford (175, up 91 from the previous week). Other LHAs with significant increases were Burnaby (150, up 35), Langley (157, up 31), Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows (108, up 30) and New Westminster (66, up 31).
Other than Delta, the only LHA to see a decrease last week was Mission (56, down 20).
Data shared on the BC CDC’s COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard Tuesday shows Delta had an overall daily average of six new cases per 100,000 people for the week of Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, down from nine the week before.
Broken down by community health service areas (CHSAs), that’s a rate of eight cases per 100,000 people in North Delta (down from 10 the week before), two in Ladner (down from seven) and four in Tsawwassen (down from 10). The CHSA of Tsawwassen is comprised of both the Delta community and the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Delta’s total case count over that time frame represented one per cent of cases in B.C. that week, down from two per cent the week before. Delta is home to two per cent of the province’s population.
The overall test positivity rate in Delta for the week ending Aug. 23 was three per cent, down from five the week before, but the rates varied somewhat between Delta’s three CHSAs.
North Delta had a rate of five per cent (down from six the week prior) while Ladner had a rate of two per cent (down from three) and Tsawwassen had a rate of two per cent (down from four).
Positivity rates were higher when looking only at public tests —five per cent for Delta as a whole (down from six), seven per cent for North Delta (down from eight), two per cent for Ladner (down from three) and three per cent for Tsawwassen (down from six).
The dashboard also shows breakdowns of vaccine coverage across the CHSAs by age (12+, 12-17, 18+, 18-49 and 50+) and by whether people have received their first or second dose.
As of Sept. 6, Delta continued to lead all other LHAs in Fraser Health with 91 per cent of adults aged 12 and over having received at least their first does of vaccine, up one per cent from the week before. As well, 84 per cent of residents 12 and over have received their second dose as well, up one per cent from the week before.
Broken down by CHSA, that’s 91 per cent first dose coverage in North Delta (up one per cent from the week before), 92 per cent in Ladner (up one per cent), and 90 per cent in Tsawwassen (unchanged). In terms of second dose rates, that’s 82 per cent in North Delta (unchanged), 86 per cent in Ladner (up one per cent) and 85 per cent in Tsawwassen (unchanged).
Limited to adults 18 and over, first dose rates were 91 per cent for Delta as a whole (unchanged from the week before), 91 for North Delta (up one per cent), 92 for Ladner (unchanged) and 90 for Tsawwassen (unchanged). Second dose rates were 85 per cent for Delta as a whole (up one per cent), 83 for North Delta (up one per cent), 87 for Ladner (up one per cent) and 86 for Tsawwassen (up one per cent).
For the past three weeks, the dashboard has included vaccine coverage for kids aged 12-17. First dose rates for that age range as of Sept. 6 were 87 per cent for Delta as a whole (up one per cent), 86 for North Delta (up one per cent), 88 for Ladner (up one per cent) and 88 for Tsawwassen (up two per cent). Second dose rates were 76 per cent for Delta as a whole (up two per cent), 75 for North Delta (up two per cent), 76 for Ladner (up two per cent) and 79 for Tsawwassen (up two per cent).
Vaccine uptake was still markedly different between those 18-49 and those 50 and over, however.
For adults 50 and over, first dose coverage in Delta was 93 per cent (unchanged from the week previous). Broken down by CHSA, that’s 92 per cent in North Delta (unchanged), 94 in Ladner (unchanged) and 93 in Tsawwassen (unchanged). Second dose rates were 89 per cent for Delta as a whole (unchanged), 88 for North Delta (unchanged), 91 for Ladner (up one per cent) and 90 for Tsawwassen (up one per cent).
For those aged 18-49, first dose coverage was lower — 89 per cent for Delta overall (unchanged), 90 for North Delta (up one per cent), 90 for Ladner (up one per cent) and 86 for Tsawwassen (unchanged). Second dose rates were 80 per cent for Delta as a whole (up two per cent), 79 for North Delta (up one per cent), 82 for Ladner (up one per cent) and 79 for Tsawwassen (up one per cent).
After Delta, the other LHAs in the Fraser Health region with the highest first dose vaccine coverage for adults aged 12 and over are Surrey and New Westminster with 89 per cent (up one per cent from the week before), followed by Burnaby (88 per cent, up one per cent), Tri-Cities (87 per cent, unchanged), then South Surrey/White Rock (86 per cent, unchanged).
On Sept. 8, the BC CDC posted an updated map showing total cumulative cases by local health area through to the end of August. The map shows there were a total of 5,156 COVID-19 cases in Delta through to Aug. 31, meaning there were 223 new cases last month, compared to 26 in July, 92 in June, 488 in May, 990 in April and 614 in March.
The map also shows there were 980 new cases in Surrey in August, compared to 189 in July, 529 in June, 4,012 in May, 7,043 in April and 4,406 in March.
For the Fraser Health region as a whole, there were 4,478 new cases of COVID-19 in August, compared to 771 in July, 1,636 in June, 8,913 in May, 17,086 in April and 10,554 in March. Vancouver Coastal Health, meanwhile, had 2,787 new cases in August, compared to 424 in July, compared to 563 in June, 2,833 in May, 7,497 in April and 5,726 in March.
As of Thursday morning (Sept. 9), there was one outbreak at a Delta long-term care, assisted living or independent living facilities. Fraser Health declared an outbreak at Northcrest Care Centre in North Delta on Sept. 2 after one resident and two staff members in the independently-owned and operated long-term care facility tested positive for COVID-19.
Students across B.C. returned to class this week, and as of Thursday Fraser Health’s website listed no exposures at any Delta schools. (The website had last been updated at 9 a.m. on Sept. 6.)
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.”