Revelstoke has smashed its previous weekly high of new COVID-19 cases in a weekly reporting period, recording 142 new cases in the week covering Dec. 19-25, 2021.
The previous weekly high came about one year ago, when 37 cases were recorded between Dec. 27, 2020–Jan 2, 2021.
The new record comes with the rise of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, which is more contagious than previous versions of the virus, and also spreads faster because the time between when someone is exposed and they themselves become infectious is shorter.
New high despite limited testing
Although the new weekly figure is an record high, nearly quadruple the previous weekly total, the actual number of cases in Revelstoke is higher.
COVID-19 testing became fully booked in Revelstoke before this weekly period, and all new appointments made available each day were snapped up in about 10 minutes. Later, B.C. revised its advice on who should get a test, restricting testing to only some people with symptoms.
It's unknown how many Revelstoke residents were symptomatic and wanted to get tested during this period but were unable to.
For the period, Interior Health said it did 23 tests per day in Revelstoke, which totals 161 for the week. However, revelstokemountaineer.com is aware that many residents have been booking COVID-19 testing appointments in nearby communities.
If a Revelstoke resident tests positive at a clinic in another community, the case is counted as a Revelstoke Local Health Area case according to the patient's address and is reflected in the local total.
In a Dec. 29 update, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said actual case numbers could be 4-5 times what is recorded by testing. She said through the pandemic, actual number of cases was 2-3 times higher than reported testing numbers.
Revelstokemountaineer.com has been providing daily coverage of the Omicron-variant-driven COVID-19 rise in Revelstoke since before Christmas, including many recent stories. For our most recent updates, see our COVID-19 archive page.