The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region over the last week.Chart: Tyler Olsen

CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case double in Fraser North health area, up 50% in Vancouver

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

Vancouver, the Okanagan and the Fraser North area have all seen worryingly high numbers of new COVID-19 cases detected over the past week, new numbers released by the BC CDC and analyzed by Black Press show.

Although the Fraser South area was primarily responsible for driving the increase in the province’s COVID-19 numbers through mid-October, other regions have now begun to see dramatic increases in the number of newly confirmed cases.

Between Oct. 23 and 29, the average daily number of newly detected COVID-19 cases has risen by 50 per cent in Vancouver and doubled in the Okanagan and the Fraser North area.

Cases still continue to climb in Fraser South – a region that includes Surrey, Langley, Delta and White Rock. But the rate of growth has slowed since the previous, when more than half of all newly confirmed COVID-19 cases were detected in the area.

In the seven days between Oct. 23 and 29, 1,825 new COVID-19 cases were detected across the province. A little under half – 875 – were in Fraser South. That 875 figure is about 31 per cent higher than the previous week, but the weekly rate of increase has slowed.

From Thursday: B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

RELATED: COVID-19 ‘disproportionately’ affecting Fraser Health: Henry

But the detection of new COVID-19 cases is accelerating in Fraser North – which includes Burnaby, New Westminster, the Tri-Cities and Maple Ridge. There, new cases nearly doubled last week, with 337 people diagnosed with COVID-19. It was the second straight week where cases have jumped significantly. Between mid-September and mid-October, the region had been seeing only about 100 new cases each week.

It’s a similar story in the Okanagan, where 66 new cases were detected between Oct. 23 and Oct. 29. That’s double the previous week and close to the same number of cases that were confirmed in all of September and early October.

In Vancouver, meanwhile, 281 new cases were confirmed last week – a 50 per cent increase over the previous week. That city’s figures have fluctuated over the last two months, and more cases were detected in one September week. But the high case counts in regions to its immediate east and south suggest that this latest spike may be harder to flatten.

While more local regions are seeing large increases in COVID-19 cases, some parts of B.C. continue to do well to keep the virus in check.

In particular, Vancouver Island saw just seven new cases over the past week, the lowest figure since the end of September and well below all other comparatively sized regions in the province.

In the Lower Mainland, Richmond and the North shore continue to see fairly even case numbers, while in the Interior, the Kootenays continue to keep their weekly case count below 10.

Health officials have repeatedly warned, though, that COVID-19 continues to circulate in all B.C. communities, and stress the need for residents not to let their guard down.

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Fraser South/East
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The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in the Okanagan – but not on Vancouver Island – over the last week.Chart: Tyler Olsen

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