COVID-19 at UBC: Move to step two of reopening accompanied by slight increase in cases

The number of COVID-19 cases in the UBC neighbourhood has slightly increased in the last week.

BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) neighbourhood-level data showed that UBC saw two new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents in the past week, whereas there had been no new cases the previous week. The data was released July 16 via the BCCDC’s regional COVID-19 dashboard and is composed of data from June 8 to June 14.

The two new cases per capita were accompanied by an increase in test positivity rate, from zero to one per cent. For reference, this one per cent positivity rate is on par with the neighbouring Shaughnessy and Point Grey neighbourhoods, while both regions had fewer new cases per capita.

However, 71 per cent of adults aged 18 and above at UBC have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This represents a 10 per cent increase since the previous week, although there are signs that the vaccination rate may be slowing.

Vaccinations had increased by 13 per cent the previous week and 11 per cent the week before. The 10 per cent this week is a slight decrease from previous weeks, and the vaccination rate among UBC residents aged 50+ has stalled just above 75 per cent.

Still, the vaccine uptake projects to surpass the necessary threshold for the provincial government’s reopening plan to proceed. British Columbians entered the plan’s second stage this week.

Under new provincial guidelines, outdoor personal gatherings may increase to up to 50 people while indoor gatherings remain capped at five people. Indoor group fitness activities may resume, businesses can now serve alcohol until midnight and travel throughout BC is now permitted.

The move into step two comes as COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations continue to decrease across the province. The number of daily new cases fell below 100 this past weekend for the first time since early last fall as the rolling average number of cases continues to steadily decrease.

Federally, Health Canada has indicated that the mandatory 14-day quarantine may be lifted for fully vaccinated individuals entering the country, an awaited step in the country’s path to reopening the border.