COVID-19 at UBC: Cases remain low as feds remove PCR test requirement for short trips to the US

COVID-19 transmission remains low at UBC, despite high case numbers across the province.

New data released by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has revealed that the UBC area saw an average of just one new case per 100,000 residents per day over the past week. Furthermore, the BCCDC reported a zero per cent testing positivity rate, suggesting that the specific rate is less than one. These numbers have not changed since last week.

Meanwhile, 97 per cent of residents have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 95 per cent are fully vaccinated, although vaccination data comes with a disclaimer that numbers are adjusted to account for the presence of out-of-town students. It is not necessarily representative of the entire UBC student and staff body, only those who live in the UBC neighbourhood.

While case counts remain high across BC, numbers are gradually decreasing.

BC recorded 324 new cases on Wednesday, down from 338 the previous day. The rolling average number of new cases has been gradually decreasing, currently just above 400. The Northern Health region currently has the highest case rate per capita, at 169 cases per 100,000 residents.

The Lower Mainland COVID-19 hotspot is flood-ravaged East Abbotsford, with 30 cases per 100,000. Across the province, the Bella Coola Valley, Northern Vancouver Island and Burns Lake have the highest case rates, each experiencing roughly 100 cases per capita.

As of Wednesday, 379 people are in hospital, 109 of whom are in intensive care. Throughout the pandemic, 2,281 people have died of COVID-19 in BC.

More than 90 per cent of British Columbians have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and that number is gradually increasing.

Finally, the federal government announced Wednesday that it will be removing the requirement for Canadians returning from the United States to receive a negative PCR test, as long as the trip was for fewer than 72 hours. This change will take effect within the next few weeks, although no date has been specified.