Revelstoke records 37 new COVID-19 cases in latest weekly count, cumulative total at 106

Revelstoke has among the highest rates of new COVID-19 cases in B.C., with 37 new cases in a one-week period between Dec. 27–Jan. 2. The cumulative total of Revelstoke cases more than doubled over December from 49 to 106.

File photo: Downtown Revelstoke in late December. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Revelstoke has recorded 37 new COVID-19 cases in the latest weekly count released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

The new count, which was released on Jan. 6, covers the period from Dec. 27–Jan. 2. In the previous weekly count, there were 22 cases.

The weekly COVID-19 new cases by Local Health Area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2. Image: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

The number represents new COVID-19 cases detected by health authorities in Revelstoke up until Jan. 2. Health authorities do not release the total number of active cases, which is unknown at this point.

For the one-week period, Revelstoke has the among the highest rates of new COVID-19 cases recorded in B.C. Revelstoke is one of nine local health areas (LHA) with per-capita new COVID-19 case rates over 20 per 100,000 population.

Revelstoke recorded two more cases during this one-week period than the Greater Victoria area, which recorded 35 new cases. The Greater Victoria LHA has a population of about 243,000 people, compared to the Revelstoke LHA, with a population of 7,870.

Revelstoke also recorded more cases per capita than the Central Okanagan LHA, which includes Kelowna and had been an Interior Health hot spot in recent months.

Total number of diagnosed cases more than doubles in December

The image shows cumulative COVID-19 case numbers per local health area in B.C. as of the end of December 2020, showing a total of 106 cases in the Revelstoke LHA. Image: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

The total number of cases recorded in the Revelstoke LHA more than doubled in December.

Since the start of the pandemic until the end of November 2020, there were a total of 49 cumulative cases in the Revelstoke LHA. As of the end of December 2020, that number had more than doubled to 106.

The number is the total number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed, not active cases.

Across Interior Health

On Jan. 6, Interior Health recorded 71 new cases, bringing the total to 4,310, of which 785 are active. There are 33 people in hospital, nine of them in ICU. There was one more death, at Heritage Square seniors facility in Vernon, bringing the total number of deaths in Interior Health to 34 since the start of the pandemic.

Vaccinations in Revelstoke

Interior Health (IH) says it is expecting vaccines to arrive in Revelstoke “early next week.”

An IH communications staff member said the “phase one priority population” will all be offered vaccinations “as the next few weeks roll out.”

The priority one groups include residents and staff at long-term and assisted-living care facilities, people awaiting care home placements, essential visitors to care facilities, health care workers providing front-line care, and remote or isolated First Nations communities.

This week, B.C. authorities outlined plans for phasing of vaccinations in B.C.

Revelstoke School District notes nine exposure incidents

In a Jan. 5 letter to parents and guardians, Revelstoke School District No. 19 said it experienced its first COVID-19 exposures at Revelstoke Secondary School, and that there were nine exposure events in total.

Testing rates not available for Revelstoke requested testing rates by day from Interior Health, but an IH spokesperson said testing rates by day by community are not released.

Is this a cluster? An outbreak?

An IH spokesperson said a number of factors go into declaring a cluster or an outbreak, and that the determination is made by the medical health officer, who reviews the facts of each circumstance to determine clusters and outbreaks. “Severe circumstances and problematic transmission generally trigger an outbreak. Technically more than one case could be called a cluster, but conventionally, clusters are declared when transmission is becoming problematic, though less severe than an outbreak,” they stated. No outbreak or cluster has been declared since new positive tests began to trend upward in Revelstoke in mid-December.

Interior Health has listed the following outbreaks in the health region as of Jan. 6:

  • Outbreak declared at Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver with four staff cases connected to this outbreak.
  • Creekside Landing long-term care in Vernon has 13 cases: 10 residents and three staff.
  • Williams Lake Seniors Village has two cases: one resident and one staff.
  • Noric House long-term care in Vernon has 10 cases: eight residents and two staff.
  • Heritage Square long-term care in Vernon has 31 cases: 21 residents and 10 staff, with two deaths connected to this outbreak.
  • Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna has 42 cases: 37 residents and five staff, with one death connected to this outbreak.
  • Teck mining operations remains at 16 IH cases linked to the outbreak.
  • McKinney Place long-term care in Oliver has 77 cases: 54 residents and 23 staff, with 13 deaths connected to this outbreak.
  • Village by the Station long-term care in Penticton has nine cases: five residents and four staff, with one death connected to this outbreak.
  • Mountainview Village long-term care in Kelowna has 16 cases: eight residents and eight staff, with two deaths connected to this outbreak.
Aaron Orlando is a Revelstoke-based journalist who serves as creative director of and Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. He's been on the news beat in Revelstoke for the past 14 years, serving in senior editorial roles. If you have or call/text him at 250-814-8710.