COVID-19 at UBC: UBC neighbourhood maintains case rate following Totem Park exposure

The UBC neighbourhood has maintained its COVID-19 case rate despite the Totem Park exposure notice sent out last week.

According to new data released by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) yesterday, the UBC neighbourhood saw eight cases of COVID-19 from December 7 to December 13. This maintains the case rate reported last Friday.

However, test positivity has increased from two per cent last week to four per cent this week.

Vaccination rates have remained stable. Ninety-eight per cent of residents 12+ have received their first dose, while 96 per cent have received their second.

Twenty-nine per cent of children aged 5–11 in the area have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, up seven per cent from Friday. Seventy per cent of seniors 70+ have received their third dose, up four per cent from Friday.

BCCDC data only includes people with an address in the UBC community health area and does not include commuter students.

The province announced 519 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, the highest daily case number in a month.

Yesterday, UBC announced a temporary expansion of rapid testing starting tomorrow and the introduction of symptomatic testing on campus in the new year.

Vaccinated, asymptomatic students who live on campus will be able to access UBC’s existing rapid testing program between December 15–22 and January 4–7. PCR testing for symptomatic community members at the Vancouver campus will begin in January.

Currently, there is no rapid testing on campus for fully-vaccinated community members, while symptomatic testing is not available on campus for anyone.

In the same announcement on the expanded testing program, President Santa Ono reaffirmed that exams will continue to be held in person. He also stated that a very small number of people have been impacted by the Totem Park exposure.