The weekly COVID-19 casemap for Dec. 12 to 18. (BC CDC)

The weekly COVID-19 casemap for Dec. 12 to 18. (BC CDC)

A quarter of Penticton children have first dose as COVID-19 cases drop

A quarter of those aged 12 and above have also had their third dose

Vaccinations continue to steadily increase as the number of new weekly COVID-19 cases dropped by close to half across the South Okanagan Similkameen.

There were a total of 17 new cases recorded over Dec. 12 to 18, down from the 31 recorded the week before.

The Penticton local health area, which includes Kaleden and Naramata, saw the largest drop, going from 14 cases over Dec. 5 to 11 down to seven cases over the most recent week, according to data from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Princeton dropped to having no new cases after a single case over Dec. 5 to 11, and Keremeos dropped down to a single case over Dec. 12 to 18 from three the week before.

The Summerland local health area also saw cases decrease from seven down to four over the most recent week.

The only health area to increase was the Southern Okanagan, which stretches from Okanagan Falls to Osoyoos. That local health area saw cases increase to five over the most recent week, from two over Dec. 5 to 11.

READ MORE: COVID-19 returns to Similkameen Valley

In Penticton, 25 per cent of children aged five to 11 have now had their first dose of vaccine, followed close behind by Summerland at 23 per cent. The Southern Okanagan has reached 17 per cent of youth with their first dose and both Princeton and Keremeos have reached 16 per cent coverage.

Distribution of booster shots are also steadily increasing, with a quarter of Penticton and Southern Okanagan health area residents aged 12 and above with their third shot. Summerland and Keremeos have reached 23 per cent with Princeton currently at 17 per cent of third doses distributed.

Elsewhere in the Okanagan, cases are on an uptick, with the Central Okanagan health area going from 145 to 191 and Vernon going from 46 to 60 in the last two weeks of data.

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