The BC CDC is reporting 81 new cases of COVID-19 in the Golden area for the week of Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, a new single-week record as cases spike across the province.
The previous high was 38 in one week, which happened back in August. Before that, the high was 16, set back in April.
It more than quadrupled last week’s new case count of 17.
Golden now has the third-highest daily case rate of new cases per population of 100,000, with 152, behind Revelstoke (336 and 257 new cases last week) and Fernie (198 case rate and 211 new cases last week).
Windermere region has also seen an increase in cases, with 70 new cases.
Kimberley saw 25 new cases and Cranbrook 94.
Due to an increase in demand for testing, moving forward, PCR test appointments will only be given to those that are under five years old, over 65 years old, a health care worker or living in group housing settings such as Abbeyfield.
Everyone else will be given a rapid antigen test to do at home.
The Physicians of Golden have said that the testing facility in Golden has been seeing people from nearby communities coming to the town for tests as they can’t get appointments closer to home, as the testing capacity in the province gets stretched to its limit.
While early studies show that the Omicron variant produces less severe illness, the sheer number of infected people means that hospitalizations are once again on the rise, despite a lower percentage of cases requiring a trip to ICU.
It is crucial to keep infection rates low as hospitals once again get overwhelmed, with surgeries being delayed in this most recent surge.
The unvaccinated remain at high risk of more severe disease and winding up in hospital and ICU.
“The next few months will be a bumpy ride but the hope is that this wave will peak quickly, given the evidence from abroad,” said the Physicians of Golden.
“The tide will turn. In the meantime, keep your gatherings small, wear the best mask you can and stay home if you are sick. 2022 will hopefully see the end of the acute phase of this pandemic. It can’t come soon enough! Happy New Year to all and hope for a better year to come.”