COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health service area, Aug. 8-14, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)

COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health service area, Aug. 8-14, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)

Port Alberni, west coast are COVID-19 hotspots on Vancouver Island

West coast communities lagging when it comes to vaccinations

Port Alberni and other communities on the central west coast of Vancouver Island are the new COVID-19 hotspots, according to data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Canada is now in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and communities across the country are seeing a surge in cases that is largely being driven by the Delta variant.

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The BCCDC has released weekly case numbers by local health service area from Aug. 8 to Aug. 14. During this week, Alberni-Clayoquot was one of the areas on Vancouver Island with the highest case counts as it recorded 18 new cases, up from just eight in the previous week.

Meanwhile, Greater Victoria’s West Shore recorded 45 new cases, up from 19 the previous week.

The BCCDC also reports that west coast communities on Vancouver Island are lagging when it comes to vaccinations. As of Aug. 17, Cowichan Valley West has the lowest percentage of people fully vaccinated (two doses) at 64 percent. Vancouver Island West sits at 68 percent of people fully vaccinated, and Alberni-Clayoquot sits at 69 percent.

The highest rate of full vaccination is in the Saanich Peninsula (84 percent) and Greater Victoria (80 percent).

Island Health is encouraging people to get vaccinated to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases. Walk-ins are now welcome for anyone aged 12 and older for both dose one and two at any community COVID-19 clinic in Island Health.

To make an appointment, visit www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or call 1-833-838-2323.

This week, Island Health’s “Vax Van” mobile clinic is in the Cowichan Valley. The Vax Van schedule can be found at www.islandhealth.ca.

Coronavirus