72 new COVID-19 cases reported in Prince Rupert last week, 14 in Terrace

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COVID-19 cases are continuing to fall in Northwest B.C.'s two biggest cities.

According to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, the Prince Rupert Local Health Area recorded 72 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 from March 28th to April 3rd. It's the region's lowest weekly case count in weeks, but it's still a high number. It also continues to have one of the highest per capita case rates in the province. 

Further east, COVID-19 cases have fallen again in Terrace, where 14 new cases were reported last week.

However, other Northwest regions continue to have high rates of the virus. 17 new cases were reported in Kitimat, 15 in Upper Skeena and seven in Nisga'a.

Areas with lower case rates include Haida Gwaii with four new cases, Smithers with six and Nechako with two. No new cases were reported in Burns Lake or the Snow Country - Stikine - Telegraph Creek region.

The vast majority of Prince Rupert residents have now received a COVID-19 vaccination, but today's numbers from the BC CDC show that many new cases were reported in the city last week.

Northern Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Rakel Kling says it's still expected for there to be cases after people get vaccinated, but serious cases generally go down.

"We know that the COVID vaccine, while it works really well, it's not perfect. So just because you've been vaccinated, you can still absolutely get COVID and you can transmit it to others. We do know, however, that what a vaccine is really good for is it's really good at preventing very severe disease, hospitalizations, and deaths.

"So it's important that people continue to get vaccinated. Prince Rupert did an amazing job of getting a large amount of their community vaccinated, which is really great to see, but we still would expect there to be cases after vaccines."

Kling added that it's still important for everyone in Prince Rupert to continue following all public health protocols, since vaccinated people can still catch and transmit the virus.

Northern Health also notes that it takes around two weeks for a COVID-19 vaccine to become effective.