COVID-19 at UBC: Low case counts persist as province moves to Step Three of reopening plan

As BC enters the third step of its reopening plan, cases of COVID-19 remain low at UBC.

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) detected just one active case of the disease per 100,000 residents on UBC’s Vancouver campus and the surrounding area between June 25 and July 1. This information was released on July 2 via the BCCDC’s COVID-19 dashboard.

New cases of COVID-19 were non-existent, as UBC recorded a zero per cent testing positivity rate during this time. Seventy-six per cent of adults aged 18 and up have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a very slight increase since the previous week.

Vaccine coverage appears to have stalled in the mid-seventies at UBC. Last week, the BCCDC began breaking down its vaccine data by age group, revealing that 75 per cent of 18-49 year olds have received their first dose, compared to 79 per cent of those 50+.

These numbers give the UBC area one of the lowest vaccination rates in Metro Vancouver, with most of the region having over 80 per cent coverage. The reason for this discrepancy is unclear.

The risk of being infected with COVID-19 anywhere in the Lower Mainland is currently relatively low. Most local health regions are experiencing testing positivity rates of three per cent or lower, and none have a per capita case rate higher than three cases per 100,000 residents.

The entire province’s rolling average number of new cases has dropped below 50 cases per day, and the few cases being detected appear to be concentrated in the interior of BC. The Grand Forks region had the highest per capita case rate as of July 1, with 14 cases per 100,000.

With the low numbers of cases, BC has moved into the third step of its reopening plan, which has seen the removal of limits on personal indoor and outdoor gatherings, as well as the lifting of the province’s provincial mask mandate. Masks continue to be strongly recommended for those of us who are not yet fully vaccinated.

Intra-provincial travel is once again permitted, just in time for summer.