Portion of map showing numbers of cases for local health areas in the Northwest health services delivery area of Northern Health. The purple colours indicate rate of infection per 100,000 population, (Smithers Terrace and Kitimat, 25.01 - 50.; Haida Gwaii >100). (Province of B.C. graphic)

Kitimat Local Health Area has recorded three cases of COVID-19 since pandemic began

Province releases local health area data for the first time

For the first time, the Province has released more specific data about where COVID-19 cases have occurred.

On Aug. 27, the BC Centre for Disease Control published a map of the cumulative cases of disease from January to July, throughout B.C. It’s divided into Local Health Areas (LHAs), and shows the Kitimat LHA, which includes the communities of Kitimat, Kitamaat Village, Kemano, and multiple islands have recorded three confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

LHAs are further broken down into Community Health Service Areas (CHSA) of which there is, in the Kitimat LHA, just the Kitimat CHSA. Data for each CHSA is not available, however.

READ MORE: B.C. reports 68 new COVID-19 cases, one death as it releases city-level data

In the Northwest Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA) there are 10 LHAs. Of these, only Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat, and Haida Gwaii had recorded cases. Terrace had six, Smithers five, and Haida Gwaii 20.

For heavily populated areas of the province, such as Lower Mainland, the release provided city-level data for the first time, but not for more sparsely populated areas such as the Northwest.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there are enough cases now that privacy is no longer an issue.

Initially, reporting was only doneat the health authority level, or for specific outbreaks such as health facilities and meat-packing plants. As the pandemic progressed, reporting expanded to the Health Service Delivery Area (HSDA) level and now for LHAs.

READ MORE: Positive COVID-19 case at Civeo’s Sitka Lodge

READ MORE: First round of COVID-19 cost B.C. government $600 million

With files from Thom Barker, Smithers Interior News



clare.rayment@northernsentinel.com

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