Local Health Area Map. Community health service areas are not yet available. /MINISTRY OF HEALTH

By Laura Keil

On Monday, Dr. Henry and Minister Dix addressed media questions about more localized COVID-19 case and vaccination details. Henry said new maps and data will be available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website starting Wed. May 12th.

Rather than having data broken down only into the respective health region, or even local health region, information will instead be displayed at a community health service area, one of which is the Valemount/McBride region. However, Henry said some areas will be lumped into larger ones, due to protection of privacy.

“There are some smaller population centres in the province, mostly rural ones, where we only can present by local health area because the community and parts of the community can be identifiable,” Henry said.

The BC Ministry of Health was unable to confirm whether the Valemount/McBride health area would be posted on its own. *UPDATE* Starting Wednesday, the public is able to view Local Health Areas, such as the one below, but more specific geographical details have not been released.

The data available on the website will be static maps at first, but the Province is hoping to launch a more interactive one.

“We have been working on developing an interactive mapping app so that you can actually look at different neighbourhoods by both age and sex,” Henry said on Monday. “That will also be available in the coming days.”
Case rates and immunization rates are both expected to be included.

“While we work to release as much information as possible, we do have very rigid, legal and ethical requirements to ensure an individual’s personal health information is not compromised,” Henry said. “This is a protocol that we’ve worked out to be able to publicly share personal health information that’s been available for many years through the BCCDC. It’s those guidelines that we follow when we release information on this pandemic as well.”

Twenty people died of COVID-19 over the weekend. Dr. Henry said the majority of the persons were in their 70s or older, but two people were in their 40s, and two persons in their 50s. Northern Health leads the pack when it comes to the death rate.