Burnaby has seen 155 cases of COVID-19 between the start of the pandemic in January and the end of July.
That’s according to new data provided by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, which breaks down the province into local health areas.
According to the new data, Burnaby has had fewer cases in that time period than the Tri-Cities, an area of similar size.
At the same time, the data can be misleading as cases are mapped by location of residence and don’t include outbreaks at, for example, places of work.
The data also only tallies caseloads up to July 31, so they don’t include four August outbreaks at Burnaby care homes, including Dania, New Vista and Derby Manor. New Vista has recently seen at least 22 cases and three deaths.
Most other jurisdictions hit particularly hard in B.C. can be found in the Lower Mainland, and include such municipalities as Abbotsford, North Vancouver and Mission.
Until today, data on caseloads were only available by health service delivery area, meaning that in the past, an amalgamated total lumped Burnaby and Maple Ridge together with the Tri-Cities.
That area, known as Fraser North, was still used today to report case total data over the last 14 days, when a further 160 cases were recorded. That puts it among the most affected delivery areas in the province over the latest reporting window.
Both experts and politicians have long called for more transparency around reporting COVID-19 case data, both geographically and by such indicators as race.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday the province is now releasing the more detailed data because caseloads have reached levels that allow health officials to point to more specific jurisdictions while maintaining an acceptable level of privacy.
Despite the delay, the numbers offer a new sense of clarity on how hard the virus has hit individual cities and regions across British Columbia, even as the province deals with an uptick in cases.
The same day provincial health officials moved towards more transparency, Dr. Henry announced a further 68 new cases in the last 24 hours.
British Columbia has once again hit a record high number of people being actively monitored with COVID-19. There are now 2,810 people for symptoms of COVID-19 because they have been exposed to known cases.
- With files from Stefan Labbe, Tri-City News