Revelstoke sets all-time B.C. COVID-19 case rate record

The Revelstoke Local Health Area experienced extremely high COVID-19 infections for the period from Dec. 28–Jan 3, smashing all-time B.C. pandemic records.

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Queen Victoria Hospital pictured in December 2021. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Currently, Revelstoke has the highest COVID-19 case rate out of all Local Health Areas anywhere in the province since the pandemic started in early 2020 — by a wide margin.

For the week of Dec. 28, 2021 to Jan. 3, 2022, the Revelstoke Local Health Area (LHA) recorded a daily new case rate of 336 per 100,000 population. During that weekly period, it recorded 221 new COVID-19 cases in Revelstoke.

The numbers were revealed in a report issued by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) on Jan. 4, 2022.

The BCCDC reports LHA-level COVID-19 data three times per week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Most rural residents are familiar with the purple provincial map graphic that the B.C. Centre for Disease Control releases on Wednesday evenings; however, those map graphics contain weekly data that is older by one day than the data released on Tuesdays.

This B.C. Centre for Disease Control graphic shows weekly ‘epi-week’ cases by B.C. Local Health Areas since the pandemic began in B.C. The blue line is Revelstoke and the grey lines represent all of the other Local Health Areas in the province. Revelstoke is currently in record territory. This graphic covers up until the start of the week of Dec. 26, 2021. Image: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

For the Dec.–28–Jan. 3 period, Revelstoke’s test positivity rate was an extremely high 62%, an indication of a significant level of undetected community spread. It was the highest in B.C.

The new high comes amid very limited testing availability in Revelstoke, and after provincial health leaders advised that only people with symptoms should seek testing. The B.C. Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has said the actual level of infection in B.C. is currently about 4-5 times higher than is captured in the reports. That estimate translates to 884–1105 new cases in Revelstoke for the weekly period.

In B.C., health officials do not provide active case rates by LHA. It is among many data points that are useful to public understanding of the pandemic that are provided on a daily basis by other provincial governments using convenient apps, but not at all by the B.C. government.

Off the charts

Revelstoke’s soaring case rate is literally off the charts: the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has had to adjust its weekly case rate graphic, expanding it so that Revelstoke’s numbers can be included.

This B.C. Centre for Disease Control chart published on Jan. 4, 2022, shows case rate change by all of the Local Health Areas in B.C. Over the last weekly period, the Revelstoke LHA daily case rate increased from 279 per 100,000 to 336, a new high. Image: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Outbreak at Mt. Cartier Court care facility

FIle photo: Mt. Cartier Court pictured in May of 2015. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been no declared outbreaks at Revelstoke long-term care facilities.

On January 4, 2022, a new outbreak was listed at Mt. Cartier Court, a residential care facility located next to Queen Victoria Hospital.

The facility has 44 private rooms and is divided into three different physical wings, known as “cottages.”

Revelstokemountaineer.com has requested more information from Interior Health on the outbreak, including how many staff and residents are affected, how many residents currently live at the facility, and when the outbreak was declared.

In the past, B.C. officials declared the number of staff and patients affected by individual long-term care facility outbreaks in daily reporting, but the numbers have not been listed on recent reports.

Revelstoke continues to be B.C. hot spot

See our previous reporting on the rapid rise of the Omicron variant in Revelstoke in this Jan. 2, 2022 story embedded below. Revelstokemountaineer.com has provided extensive coverage of the Omicron outbreak in Revelstoke, filing 14 stories since mid-December. See our archive of COVID-19-related stories here.

Revelstoke was runaway B.C. COVID-19 hot spot from Dec. 23-29