The number of new cases in the Merritt area dropped for the second straight week in the period of Oct. 10-16, with 17 reported.

The drop mirrors a pattern of a number of local health areas throughout the Central and Southern Interior. Kamloops saw a drop of 13 new cases down to 118, Kelowna saw a drop of 15 down to 171, and Vernon saw a drop of 17 down to 46.

Other surrounding regions that saw a fall in new positive cases include South Cariboo, Agassiz, Penticton, and Salmon Arm.

Princeton, however, saw three new cases after experiencing none in the prior weekly report. Hope remains in the highest bracket of average new cases per 100,000 population with 20 new cases, the same number as the previous week.

Arrow Lakes and Kimberley were the only two regions in Interior Health to not record any new cases.