The BC Centre for Disease Control has released the local health area COVID case numbers for September and they show a near doubling of the number of cases recorded on the Sunshine Coast from 14 to 26 between August and September.
When provincial health officials first released case numbers by local health area there had been a total of seven cases on the Sunshine Coast between Jan. 1 and July 31. The next set of data showed the case count had doubled to 14 in the month of August.
The data released Oct. 8 lists 12 additional cases in September to bring the total for the year to 26.
The case numbers include both active cases and people who have had the virus and recovered.
The newly-released figures also show the impact of community transmission at the Tla’amin First Nation on the upper Sunshine Coast in the case count for the Powell River local health area. There were 39 cases listed, up from just a single case reported between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31.
The updated local health area numbers were released on the same day provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province has now seen more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. With the 110 cases reported as of Oct. 8, the total stands at 10,066.
“We know that that’s an underrepresentation of the impact of this virus and that there have been more people, particularly early on, when our access to testing was limited, who have been infected with this virus,” Henry said.
Of those infected, 8,398 people, or 83.4 per cent, have recovered. There have been 245 deaths.
In its most recent update, the Sunshine Coast Physician Task Force said, “overall infection rates as a percentage of total population in our community have remained quite low and much lower than our provincial infection rate.”
The task force also said with flu season approaching the Respiratory Assessment Clinic is expanding its capacity.
In briefings this week, Henry has recommended British Columbians stay close to home this Thanksgiving.
“While many of us would often travel to friends and family to spend time together, now is the time to stay closer to home and have a smaller gathering instead,” she said on Monday.
– With files from Business in Vancouver