Active COVID-19 cases in Delta doubled again last week as the pandemic’s fourth wave continued to take hold across the region.
The latest weekly map released by the BC Centre for Disease Control showing the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases by local health area (LHA) of residence shows Delta had 45 cases for the week of Aug. 8 to 14, 22 more than the 23 cases the week before.
Four weeks earlier (the week ending July 17), Delta marked the fewest active cases in the city (2) since the BC CDC began releasing LHA-level data on Dec. 5, 2020.
The overall number of active cases in the Fraser Health region increased by 275 the week ending Aug. 14 (for a total of 779), the fifth time in six weeks that case totals have increased after nearly three months of falling COVID numbers.
All but one of the 13 local health areas (LHAs) in the region saw increases from the previous week, notably in Surrey (155, up 48 from the previous week), Tri-Cities (86, up 41) and Burnaby (86, up 33). Delta and Tri-Cities were also two of four LHAs whose cases doubled from the previous week, the others being Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows (52, up 26) and Mission (42, up 20).
Only Agassiz-Harrison saw a decrease, from two to zero cases.
Data shared on the BC CDC’s COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard Tuesday shows Delta had an overall daily average of five new cases per 100,000 people for the week of Aug. 10 to 16, up from four the week before.
Broken down by community health service areas (CHSAs), that’s a rate of six cases per 100,000 people in North Delta (up from four the week before), five in Ladner (up from three) and four in Tsawwassen (unchanged). The CHSA of Tsawwassen is comprised of both the Delta community and the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Delta’s total case count over that time frame represented one per cent of cases in B.C. that week, unchanged from the previous four weeks. Delta is home to two per cent of the province’s population.
The overall test positivity rate in Delta for the week ending Aug. 16 was three per cent, unchanged from the week before, but the rates varied slightly between Delta’s three CHSAs.
North Delta had a rate of four per cent (unchanged from the week prior) while Ladner had a rate of three per cent (up from two) and Tsawwassen had a rate of two per cent (unchanged from the week prior).
Positivity rates were higher when looking only at public tests — five per cent for Delta as a whole (unchanged), seven per cent for North Delta (unchanged), four per cent for Ladner (up from two) and four per cent for Tsawwassen (up from three).
The dashboard also shows breakdowns of vaccine coverage across the CHSAs by age (12+, 18+, 18-49 and 50+) and by whether people have received their first or second dose.
As of Aug. 16, Delta continued to lead all other LHAs in Fraser Health with 89 per cent of adults aged 12 and over having received at least their first does of vaccine, up from 88 the week before. As well, 80 per cent of residents 12 and over have received their second dose as well, up three per cent from the week before.
Broken down by CHSA, that’s 88 per cent first dose coverage in North Delta (unchanged from the week before), 90 per cent in Ladner (unchanged), and 89 per cent in Tsawwassen (up one per cent). In terms of second dose rates, that’s 78 per cent in North Delta (up three per cent), 83 per cent in Ladner (up three per cent) and 83 per cent in Tsawwassen (up three per cent).
Limited to adults 18 and over, first dose rates were 90 per cent for Delta as a whole (up one per cent from the week before), 89 for North Delta (unchanged), 91 for Ladner (up one per cent) and 89 for Tsawwassen (unchanged). Second dose rates were 81 per cent for Delta as a whole (up two per cent), 79 for North Delta (up two per cent), 84 for Ladner (up two per cent) and 84 for Tsawwassen (up two per cent).
Vaccine uptake was still markedly different between those 18-49 and those 50 and over, however.
For adults 50 and over, first dose coverage in Delta was 92 per cent (unchanged from the week previous). Broken down by CHSA, that’s 92 per cent in North Delta (up one per cent), 93 in Ladner (unchanged) and 92 in Tsawwassen (unchanged). Second dose rates were 88 per cent for Delta as a whole (up one per cent), 86 for North Delta (up one per cent), 89 for Ladner (up one per cent) and 89 for Tsawwassen (up one per cent).
For those aged 18-49, first dose coverage was lower but climbing — 87 per cent for Delta overall (up one per cent), 87 for North Delta (unchanged), 88 for Ladner (up one per cent) and 84 for Tsawwassen (unchanged). Second dose rates were 74 per cent for Delta as a whole (up three per cent), 74 for North Delta (up four per cent), 77 for Ladner (up four per cent) and 75 for Tsawwassen (up four per cent).
After Delta, the other LHAs in the Fraser Health region with the highest first dose vaccine coverage for adults aged 12 and over are Surrey and New Westminster with 87 per cent (both up one per cent from the week before) followed by Burnaby (86 per cent, up from 85) then South Surrey/White Rock and Tri-Cities (both 85 per cent, up one per cent and unchanged, respectively).
On Aug. 5, the BC CDC posted an updated map showing total cumulative cases by local health area through to the end of June. The map shows there were a total of 4933 COVID-19 cases in Delta through to July 31, meaning there were only 26 new cases last month, compared to 92 in June, 488 in May, 990 in April and 614 in March.
The map also shows there were 189 new cases in Surrey, compared to 529 in June, 4,012 in May, 7,043 in April and 4,406 in March; and 771 new cases across the Fraser Health region, compared to 1,636 in June, 8,913 in May, 17,086 in April and 10,554 in March. Vancouver Coastal Health, meanwhile, had 424 new cases in July, compared to 563 in June, 2,833 in May, 7,497 in April and 5,726 in March.
As of Thursday morning (Aug. 19), there was one ongoing outbreak at a Delta long-term care facility — three cases (two residents and one staff member) at KinVillage in Tsawwassen. There were no public exposure notifications in the city, and no Delta businesses had been temporarily closed due to COVID-19 spread among workers.
Meanwhile, Fraser Health’s website listed no exposures at any Delta schools.
Fraser Health defines exposure as “a single person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.” Two or more individuals is defined as a cluster, while an outbreak describes a situation involving “multiple individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections when transmission is likely widespread within the school setting.”