COVID-19 at UBC: Case count remains low as fourth wave continues across BC

UBC has among the fewest COVID-19 cases in the province, according to the latest update to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) COVID-19 dashboard.

The new data — updated on August 30 — has revealed that the UBC neighbourhood has seen only three cases daily per 100,000 residents over the past week, tied for the lowest rate in the Lower Mainland. The testing positivity rate was less than one per cent — making it the lowest in BC.

This is welcome news amid BC’s fourth wave of COVID-19, which has included new case counts topping 600 for the past couple of weeks.

For much of the fourth wave, cases have been concentrated in the Interior Health region, particularly in the Central Okanagan. Although cases appear to have plateaued there, the rest of the province has seen an increase in cases as well, with Northern BC and the Kettle Valley becoming provincial hot spots.

In the Lower Mainland, the Downtown Eastside and Mount Pleasant neighbourhoods have the highest daily case rates, with 21 and 20 daily new cases per 100,000 residents, respectively. However, cases are rising across Metro Vancouver.

The Provincial Health Office (PHO) re-introduced a province-wide mask mandate last week, backtracking on its reopening plan. The PHO hopes such a mandate will be successful in reducing cases, though it will likely be another week before any impact is observed due to the two-week incubation period of COVID-19.

The PHO also announced the introduction of vaccine cards to access most public places starting September 7 for some places at UBC and September 13 for non-essential services province-wide. This has led to an uptick in vaccinations province-wide. Over 5,700 people received their first doses this past weekend, a 77 per cent increase from the previous weekend.

First dose vaccine coverage at UBC has reached 86 per cent among residents aged 12+, on par with the rest of the Lower Mainland. Second dose coverage is at only 75 per cent, however, which is lower than neighbouring regions such as Dunbar and Kitsilano.