Terrace and Kitimat recorded 23 and 12 new COVID-19 cases respectively between Sept. 12, to Sept. 18, 2021. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

Terrace and Kitimat recorded 23 and 12 new COVID-19 cases respectively between Sept. 12, to Sept. 18, 2021. (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control)

New Smithers COVID-19 cases down, infection rate remains high

Smithers recorded 74 new cases between Sept. 12 and 18, down from 117 the previous week

Following an all-time high of 117 new cases of COVID-19 from Sept. 5 – 11 in the Smithers Local Health Area (LHA), numbers decreased to 74 for the latest reporting period (Sept. 12 to 18).

That still translates to one of the highest rates of new infections in the province at 58 cases per day per 100,000 population.

Meanwhile the fourth wave of the pandemic steadily moved west along Hwy 16. There were 23 new cases in the Terrace LHA over the latest reporting period, an increase from 17 the week before.

Kitimat recorded 12 new cases, up from three in the previous week.

Both Kitimat and Terrace’s average daily rate of new cases is in the 10.1 to 15 per 100,000 people category.

Prince Rupert, Nisga’a and Upper Skeena LHAs also all recorded more new cases. There were six new cases in Prince Rupert, 17 in Upper Skeena, and three in the Nisga’a LHA.

The BCCDC figures for the Nass Valley may differ from the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority’s statistics because of differences in the way those organizations report cases.

There were no new cases on Haida Gwaii or in the combined Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek LHAs.

Further east, there were 15 new cases in Burns Lake, 69 in Nechako and 271 in Prince George.

The vaccination rate for Smithers remains the lowest in the Northwest and one of the lowest in the province with

Percentages of residents 12 and over who are fully vaccinated (per cent change from the previous week is indicated by brackets):

Kitimat — 81 per cent (+1)

Haida Gwaii — 80 per cent (+2)

Prince Rupert — 75 per cent (+2)

Nisga’a — 75 per cent (+1)

Snow Country – Stikine – Telegraph Creek — 73 per cent (+3)

Terrace — 71 per cent (+1)

Upper Skeena — 70 per cent (+2)

Smithers — 64 per cent (+2)

Province-wide, the vaccination rate for people aged 12 and older with second doses has reached 79.7 per cent.

In Smithers, there are pop-up vaccine clinics this afternoon (Sept. 23) until 6 p.m. at Rotary Park (corner of Main Street and Hwy 16) and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the arena.

The Healthy Living Centre (1070 Main Street) is also accepting walk-in patients and booking appointments for both first and second doses of vaccine on the following dates and times: Sept. 23 until 4 p.m.; Sept. 24, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Sept. 27 -29, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Oct. 4 to 5, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and Oct. 14, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information or to book an appointment, visit the Northern Health website or call 1-833-838-2323.

—With files from Tom Fletcher and Ben Bogstie