COVID-19 at UBC: Available data shows slight positivity rate increase as testing numbers reach new low

The COVID-19 testing positivity rate at UBC has slightly increased, according to new data released by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Thirty-five per cent of tests on UBC area residents came back positive between March 1 and March 7, a two per cent increase from the previous week. However, this amounted to just seven new cases in total. Notably, cases among commuter students and staff are not included in these totals.

BCCDC data only includes results obtained via publicly-funded PCR tests, which are only available to immunocompromised or unvaccinated individuals, as well as those working in health care settings. Rapid antigen test results are not included within these numbers.

This means that just 20 PCR tests were performed on UBC area residents in the last week.

Meanwhile, 95 per cent of UBC area residents aged 5+ have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 per the new data release. However, just 67 per cent of residents aged 50+ have received booster doses, 11 per cent less than in neighbouring regions Kitsilano and West Point Grey.

In the Vancouver-Westside health area — which encompasses everything west of Arbutus Street — 62 per cent of those aged 5+ have received boosters.

While the lack of testing capacity makes precise case numbers impossible to determine, wastewater analysis has demonstrated steady declines in COVID-19 prevalence at each of Metro Vancouver’s five waste treatment facilities. Moreover, hospitalizations have been decreasing, having fallen 60 per cent from their peak in January.

There have been no changes in COVID-19 policy at either the UBC or the provincial levels in the past week. However, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will be providing an update on masking and vaccine card usage on Thursday, according to Global News’ Richard Zussman.