Langley saw a steep decline in new COVID cases in the last week, but numbers were still high relative to almost every other period of the pandemic. (BCCDC)

Langley saw a steep decline in new COVID cases in the last week, but numbers were still high relative to almost every other period of the pandemic. (BCCDC)

New COVID cases keep declining in Langley

Transmission remains high in Langley and across the region

The number of cases of COVID-19 detected in Langley continued dropping over the last week, although they remained at very high levels relative to the last 22 months of the pandemic.

Langley saw 387 positive cases of COVID-19 between Jan. 9 to 15, according to the most recent release of regional data from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) on Jan. 19.

That’s down from the 708 cases the week before that, and the 936 cases the week before that.

The steep drop in cases is in line with what B.C.’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said on Jan. 14, that the wave has peaked.

READ ALSO: Langley sees drop in positive COVID tests

This means a relatively steep drop in cases over a number of weeks was expected. However, health officials have warned that the number of infections remains high, and hospitalizations are likely to keep climbing for a few weeks, as hospital admissions lag behind infections – people who catch COVID usually don’t go to the hospital until they have been sick for some time.

READ ALSO: BC’s Omicron wave following world pattern of peaking, declining

The total numbers are still likely an under count. During the worst of the peak, B.C.’s testing and tracing infrastructure was overwhelmed, and health officials told people with mild illness to stay home and not go and get tested.

Langley’s overall case rate – the number of cases per day, per 100,000 people – dropped to 31 in the week of Jan. 11 to 17, down from 40 the week before that.

Most of Langley’s neighbours were seeing similar declines.

In Langley’s neighbourhoods, from Jan. 11 to 17, Willoughby saw 116 cases, Langley City saw 69, Walnut Grove/Fort Langley had 61, Brookswood/Murrayville had 44, North Langley Township had 36, Aldergrove/Otter had 26, and South Langley Township had 11.

The positivity rate of tests for COVID-19 in Fraser Health has been dropping, but it remains very high, with the seven-day moving average at 22.6 as of Jan. 18 per cent according to BCCDC data. That’s down from a peak of 25.6 per cent on Jan. 5.

For comparison, the previous highest positivity rate was 12 per cent in Fraser Health, in March of last year, during the wave that peaked just as vaccines were finally becoming widely available.

Among those aged 12 and up, 90 per cent of Langley residents have received their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 88 per cent have received their second shot, and 32 per cent had received a booster shot as of Jan. 18.

Langley remained in the middle of the pack when it comes to vaccinating children aged five to 11, with 43 per cent of kids that age having received their first shot by Jan. 18. Hope has the lowest rate of childhood vaccination in the FHA, at just 23 per cent, while in New West, 58 per cent of kids have rolled up their sleeves for the jab.

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CoronavirusCOVID-19Fraser HealthLangley