Kootenay Unemployment Decreases, COVID-19 Numbers Increase

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The Kootenay unemployment rate has dropped for a second straight month.

The August figure was down just over a point-and-half to 11.3%.

Two months ago, the rate was 16.1%

Stats-Can said 13-hundred people in the region returned to the workforce last month, while 93-hundred were still looking for jobs.

Meanwhile, the BC Centre for Disease Control confirmed another COVID-19 infection in the Kootenay-Boundary over the seven-day period ending Thursday. 

The region wide total since the pandemic began hit 17, while there were no new infections in the East Kootenay which has a pandemic-long total of 23.  

BC Health reported five new cases in the Interior on Thursday with 21 people still carrying the virus.

The regional total was 450 heading into the long weekend.

BC’s top doctor Bonnie Henry said the province is at the COVID-19 precipice while announcing 89 new infections across the province.

She urged compliance with social distancing and crowd gathering guidelines to reduce the curve as the provincial total reached 6,041, including 1,175 people who are still infected.

The Northeast Tri County Health District in northeast Washington State reported three new infections, including two in the Republic area about 150km south of Trail, the other was near Loon Lake.

District officials said there have been 15 new cases over the most recent two week reporting period for Ferry, Pend Oreille and Stevens Counties heading into the Labour Day weekend.