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Weekly COVID cases down in the Central Okanagan after a month of increases

The Kelowna area saw 737 cases of the virus between Aug. 15 and 21
COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the B.C. Interior. (BC Centre for Disease Control)

COVID-19 numbers have begun to plateau in the Central Okanagan, with health officials noting the first decrease in the weekly case count since early July.

Data from the BC Centre for Disease Control show the local health area, which includes the area between Peachland and Lake Country, recorded 737 cases of the virus between Aug. 15 and 21, almost 200 fewer than the record 922 the week previous. The decline comes following four straight weeks of increases.

READ MORE: 698 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. Wednesday, masks are back

But as the Central Okanagan numbers fall, the rest of the B.C. Interior has seen significant upticks in their local numbers.

Vernon each saw 153 cases and Salmon Arm had 79 as the case rate continues to grow in those local health areas.

Health officials also 28 cases in Enderby, which has the lowest vaccination rate in Interior Health with just 56 per cent of eligible residents having received both doses.

To the south, Penticton fared slightly better with 43 cases, but cases increased for the fourth week in a row after noting none through the first two weeks of July.

Vaccination rates continue to climb slowly. As of Aug. 23, 70 per cent of Central Okanagan residents are double vaccinated, Vernon is at 68 per cent, Salmon Arm is at 65 per cent and Penticton leads the way with 74 per cent.

Since the province announced the new vaccine card mandate that will bar people from attending certain events if they’re unvaccinated, provincial health officials have noted a significant increase in the number of vaccine bookings.

The province also reintroduced the mask mandate provincewide to quell the spread of the virus.

READ MORE: Vaccine bookings triple days after B.C. vaccine card announced


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