Penticton’s weekly COVID-19 case count saw a steady increase during Christmas week as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly across the province.
Over the week of Dec. 19-25, the city’s local health officials reported 26 new cases, eight more than what was reported when December started.
Summerland’s local health area reported a whopping 28 cases as November came to an end. Today, however, B.C.’s Canadian Disease Control’s (BCCDC) new numbers indicate that Penticton more than triples Summerland’s six new cases.
Amid the decline in new cases reported in Summerland from Dec. 19 to 25, the South Okanagan Similkameen as a whole recorded 42 COVID cases, down from the 47 reported at the end of November.
The region’s uptick in case numbers during November was driven by Summerland’s rapid increase and several COVID-19 public exposures.
For the week of Nov. 21 to 27, zero COVID-19 cases were reported in Keremeos, Princeton and Merritt. But for the most recent week, which includes Christmas Day, local health officials are reporting three cases in Keremeos and Merritt each and one new case in Princeton.
Since the end of November, case numbers have almost doubled in both the Central Okanagan and Vernon, with health officials in both areas reporting a total of 267 and 78 new cases, respectively.
Children aged five to seven in the Interior Health Region have been eligible for COVID-19 vaccine registration since Nov. 30.