This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from April 18 to 24, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)

This map illustrates the number of active COVID-19 cases in Greater Vancouver from April 18 to 24, 2021. (BC Centre for Disease Control image)

Active COVID-19 cases in Delta down for second week

192 cases April 18 to 24; overall number in Fraser Health down for the first time since Feb. 3

Delta again had fewer active COVID-19 cases last week as case counts in Fraser Health decreased for the first time since early February.

Every Wednesday, the BC Centre for Disease Control releases a map showing the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases by local health area of residence. The latest weekly map shows Delta had 192 cases for the week of April 18 to 24, a drop of 49 from the week previous.

It was the second time Delta’s case total had decreased after climbing for 10 straight weeks to hit a record high of 262 the week ending April 10. The previous high was the week ending Dec. 5 — the first weekly map released by the BC CDC.

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The overall number of active cases in the Fraser Health region also decreased last week for the first time since the week ending Feb. 3. The region saw 4,049 cases last week, down 211 from the week previous.

All but two of the 13 local health areas in the Fraser Health region saw decreases from the previous week, most notably in the “hot spot” of Tri-Cities (341, down 70) and in South Surrey/White Rock (97, down 47).

Surrey and Chilliwack, meanwhile, both saw their case totals rise last week. Surrey, another “hot spot” targeted by Fraser Health, saw an additional 62 cases for total of 1,760, the tenth straight week of upward-trending numbers. Chilliwack had 121 cases, up 16 from the week previous.

Wednesday’s map release came as health officials reported 841 new COVID-19 cases in the province over the past 24 hours — 541 of those in the Fraser Health region — and five more deaths, bringing the total to 1,576 in B.C. since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations also rose to a record 515 people in acute care facilities, with 171 of them in intensive care.

THE LATEST: B.C. COVID-19 patients in hospital up to 515, 5 deaths Wednesday (April 28, 2021)

Earlier this month, the BC CDC released an updated map showing the total cumulative cases by local health area from the start of the pandemic through the end of March 2021. That map shows there were a total of 3,337 COVID-19 cases in Delta through March 31, with 614 new cases that month.

The map also shows there were 4, 406 new cases in Surrey in March, and 10,554 new cases across the Fraser Health region. Vancouver Coastal Health, meanwhile, had 5,726 new cases that month.

As of Thursday morning (April 29), there were no outbreaks at any Delta long-term care, assisted living or independent living facilities.

Health officials have temporarily closed three Delta workplaces due to the number of cases among their workers. A&T Insurance Broker, located at 8697 Scott Road, was closed on April 26, while Highland Van and Storage, located at 8238 Swenson Way, was closed on April 21. Health officials also closed Langley-based King Hoe Excavating worksite at the Vancouver Landfill (5400 72 Street) on April 21.

The closure follows an announcement by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry April 8 that workplaces with three or more people who have COVID-19 and likely transmission in the workplace will be ordered to close, unless it is in the overriding public interest to keep it open. The closure generally last for 10 days unless otherwise determined by health officials.

RELATED: Worker fears getting COVID-19 without sick leave, wants B.C. to act (April 29, 2021)

Meanwhile, Fraser Health’s website listed exposures at 12 Delta schools as of Thursday morning: Chalmers Elementary (April 15 and 16), Cougar Canyon Elementary (April 21 and 22), Delta Secondary (April 23), Delview Secondary (April 15, 16, 19 and 20), Gray Elementary (April 15 and 16), Heath Traditional Elementary (April 16), Richardson Elementary (April 15, 16, 19 and 20), Sands Secondary (April 19, 20 and 23), Seaquam Secondary (April 19 and 20), South Delta Secondary (April 19 and 20), South Park Elementary (April 19 and 20), and Sunshine Hills Elementary (April 16 and 19).

Fraser Health defines exposure as “a single person with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection who attended school during their infectious period.” Two or more individuals is defined as a cluster, while an outbreak describes a situation involving “multiple individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections when transmission is likely widespread within the school setting.”

SEE ALSO: Alcohol to be allowed in some Delta parks this summer (April 27, 2021)

SEE ALSO: What can we do after getting a COVID vaccine? Experts say clear guidance is needed (April 28, 2021)

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