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B.C. reports over 400 new COVID-19 cases, 18 identified on Vancouver Island – CHEK

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More than 400 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in British Columbia over the past 24 hours.

In a statement released to the media Wednesday afternoon, health officials reported 427 new cases, including 18 in Island Health, and three deaths since their last update on Feb. 16.

One of the new deaths was in Island Health, according to the BCCDC.

The total number of cases recorded in B.C. now stands at 74,710 while the death toll climbs to 1,317.

Of the new cases, 90 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 236 were in Fraser Health, 18 were in Island Health, 47 were in Interior Health, and 31 were in Northern Health.

There are currently 4,150 active cases in the province, 232 people in hospital —  63 of whom are in intensive care — and  7,238 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.

On a positive note, 69,167 people have recovered and a total of 176,015 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 26,030 of which are second doses.

Island Health

According to the Island Health’s dashboard, there are 148 active cases in the region — 40 in south Island, 98 in central Island and 10 in north Island.

There are currently 18 people in the Island Health region in hospital due to COVID, six of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 848 new tests have been performed in the region in the past 24 hours.

Over the course of the pandemic, there have been 2,027 confirmed cases on Vancouver Island, 1,830 recoveries and 23 deaths.

Southern Vancouver Island includes the Greater Victoria region, Southern Gulf Islands and the Port Renfrew area.

Central Vancouver Island includes the Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni and Tofino areas.

Northern Vancouver Island goes from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy but also includes surrounding areas like Alert Bay and Sointula.

More to come

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48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health – Salmon Arm Observer – Salmon Arm Observer

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Forty-eight COVID-19 vaccine clinics will open across Interior Health (IH) in the coming weeks.

People aged 90 and over (those born before or in 1931), as well as Indigenous people over 65 (born in or before 1956) and elders, will be able to begin booking appointments Monday (March 8) through IH’s call centre at 1-877-740-7747. On March 15, that will open to people 85 and older (born in or before 1936) and on March 22, people over 80 (born in or before 1941) will be able to book their appointment to receive the first dose of the vaccine. The call centre will be open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day.

After a person becomes eligible for the vaccine, they can book an appointment anytime. Eligible people looking to book an appointment can do so themselves or have another person book the appointment on their behalf.

Callers are asked to have on hand their legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number and current contact information, including a regularly-checked email address for booking confirmation.

READ MORE: Canada’s chief of public health hopeful as Health Canada approves 4th vaccine

READ MORE: Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

The 48 clinics, located across the health authority’s widespread geographical boundaries, are set to open as soon as March 15 and deployment will be adapted as the vaccine rollout continues. A full list of clinics is available on IH’s website.

“The list you see today will be adjusted according to need,” said Karen Bloemink, IH’s vice president of pandemic response, during a press conference on Sunday (March 7).

To prepare for anticipated high call volumes, IH is asking people to stick to the outlined schedule to prevent a system overload. The health authority reassured there will be enough supply for all who want to be vaccinated.

“We would like to assure everyone that they will not miss their chance to get a vaccine if they want to get a vaccine,” said Bloemink.

IH will contact individuals when their second dose is due, after about four months, allowing them to make another appointment.

While IH expects the majority of individuals to come to clinics, it is working with known clients who need accommodations due to mobility issues. Those plans could involve home visits if required.

Despite the concerns of many regarding vaccine efficacy rates, recipients will not be able to choose which vaccine they get.

The majority of clinics will be offering the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said have comparable efficacy. The AstraZeneca vaccine will be reserved for younger people, and the use of the recently approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine is still to be determined within IH.

Those who are vaccinated in the next few weeks will still need to follow currently in-place health orders. De Villiers said in the coming months, he hopes visitation can increase.

“At this stage, the provincial health officer’s orders are still in place,” de Villiers said. “Even if you’ve got your vaccine, you should still follow all those orders.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents – Port Alberni Valley News – Alberni Valley News

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Thousands more seniors are set to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine over the coming month at 19 clinics on Vancouver Island.

Island Health announced today, March 7, more details of its regional plan to support the next phase of B.C.’s immunization program.

The health authority identified the locations of 19 community clinics from Sooke to Port Hardy. The list of clinic locations can be found at this link.

Half a dozen clinics on the Island are classified as “mass” clinics able to accommodate 15-20 people at a time, with up to 12 immunizations per station per hour, said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s vice-president of pandemic planning, during a press conference. Mass clinics will be located at Parksville Community Centre, Beban Park in Nanaimo, the Cowichan Community Centre gym in Duncan, Eagle Ridge Arena in Langford, the Archie Browing Sports Centre in Esquimalt and the University of Victoria’s McKinnon Gym.

Registration starts Monday, March 8, for non-Indigenous people age 90 and over and Indigenous elders 65 and over, and vaccine appointments will begin March 15. To make an appointment, an eligible person or someone calling on their behalf should call 1-833-348-4787 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.

Call centre operators will ask for legal name, date of birth, postal code, personal health number, phone number and an e-mail address.

Individuals 85 and over can start calling March 15 to make appointments for the week starting March 22. Island Health hopes to have all elderly seniors aged 80-plus immunized by April 12.

“The more we can do to make this a successful launch, the quicker we can get through populations and the quicker we’re back to having beers on the patio over the summer,” Schmid said.

She said Island Health anticipates having “more than enough supply” of vaccine doses and is expecting to receive close to 25,000 doses per week by the end of this month.

“We will just continue to see more and more supply in this phase, which is such a good news story for our population,” she said.

Island Health, in the release, said the opening of the community clinics will “continue to build on a successful vaccination program” that has delivered more than 60,000 doses so far to seniors in long-term care and assisted living, health-care workers and members of First Nations communities.

Island Health said its teams have “done a lot of planning and have prepared for a number of contingencies, and appreciate patience and the “continued kindness” that has been shown to health-care workers.

“This is the largest immunization rollout any of us has experienced, and it will not be without challenges,” the release concluded. “We will get through those challenges together, as we move closer to a time when we can be together with our loved ones and friends once again.”

There are about 30 small and remote communities on Vancouver Island that do not have immunization clinics among the 19 locations on the list. Residents in those communities “will be vaccinated in a whole-of-community approach,” the health authority said, which may involve one- or two-day immunization clinics.

READ ALSO: Vaccines coming, B.C. seniors need to be ready, premier says

READ ALSO: Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



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Northern Health vaccine clinics open tomorrow: what to know – My PG Now

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Northern Health plans to administer nearly 15-thousand COVID-19 vaccine doses between March 15 and April 10 — that goal starts tomorrow (Monday).

As capacity expands, several mass clinics are expected to open later in April.

Seniors aged 90 and older and Indigenous people aged 65 and older will be allowed to start booking COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

Northern Health CEO Cathy Ulrich says more than 30 vaccine clinic locations will be opening across the region.

The call centre will operate from 7 am to 7 pm PST, seven days a week, and clinic locations will be confirmed at the time of booking.

“We are a little different than the larger areas in the province, with the exception of Prince George, where we won’t likely be keeping immunization sights open for the entire four weeks,” said Ulrich.

“We’ll be doing more of a pop-up clinic for a few days.”

Following that, a catch up is planned for any individuals who might have been missed.

“Northern Health continues to work in partnership with First Nations Health Authority, Métis Nation British Columbia, Friendship Centres and other community organizations, to ensure COVID-19 immunization clinics will have cultural supports available for those who self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) individuals,” she added.

Vaccine appointment call centres expect to have high call volumes in the coming days and weeks.

“If it’s not your turn yet, please do not call in to book an appointment,” said Ulrich.

“Nobody will miss the chance to the get the vaccine when a new phase starts. Once you become eligible you are always elligible.”

Northern Health also encourages reaching out to family, friends and neighbours to see if they need help booking an appointment.

For more information, what you should have ready, and step-by-step instructions on how to call to book an appointment for yourself, for a family member, for a friend or neighbour, please visit the BC Seniors First website.

The full list of clinic locations is available on the Northern Health COVID-19 Vaccine Plan web page.

Northern Health Vaccine Clinic Locations (Click to enlarge)

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