The dark purple colour indicates that a city is seeing more than 20 cases per 100,000 people per day. (BCCDC)

The dark purple colour indicates that a city is seeing more than 20 cases per 100,000 people per day. (BCCDC)

Langley’s COVID numbers hit record high even as testing resources hit a wall

Cold weather even impeded testing locally in the past week

Langley is seeing a record number of coronavirus cases, according to the latest data released by the BC Centre for Disease Control.

In the week between Dec. 19 and 25, Langley recorded 519 cases of COVID-19, the highest number seen since city-by-city data became available from the BCCDC.

Like every other city in Metro Vancouver, Langley’s case rate – the number of cases per day, per 100,000 people – was above 20.

The pattern for much of the pandemic, of higher cases in the Fraser Valley, where vaccination rates were lower, has been reversed by the spread of the Omicron variant, which hit Vancouver Coastal Health (Vancouver, the North Shore, and Richmond) before spreading in Fraser Health.

Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, and Surrey all saw fairly high numbers, while Abbotsford and Mission saw fewer cases than Langley.

The BCCDC did not release a complete set of data this week, with some information on new vaccinations and neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood case rates not updated since Dec. 22.

It’s unknown exactly how accurate this week’s number of COVID cases are for Langley, or for much of the rest of the province. B.C.’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, noted this week that daily testing captures only some of the actual cases.

In addition, testing capacity has maxed out in B.C., as the Omicron surge has shot past the ability of B.C.’s test and trace system to cope with all the people seeking tests.

READ MORE: Omicron surge overwhelms COVID-19 testing, contact tracing

To add to the confusion locally, Langley saw its primary COVID testing and vaccination site partially shut down on Dec. 27 and 28, as the outdoor drive-through centre in the KPU Langley campus parking lot was hit by the extreme cold weather.

Centres in Surrey, Coquitlam, and Burnaby were also impacted.

So far, hospital and ICU admissions in B.C. have not increased sharply, but provinces that are “ahead” of B.C., where Omicron started spreading earlier, are beginning to see more hospital admissions.

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