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Coastal Health head Dr. Penny Ballem named executive lead for COVID-19 vaccine rollout



B.C. has announced a new leader for the province’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations.

In a news conference early Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 13), Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Vancouver Coastal Health chair Dr. Penny Ballem will take executive lead of the vaccination efforts.

“She’s been working with this team with extraordinary diligence for the past 12 months,” Dix said.

Dr. Ross Brown, who has been heading the program since November, will stay on under Ballem’s direction.

“I feel very happy and honoured to have this opportunity,” Ballem said. “It’s a mammoth task, but it can be done.”

is marks the largest vaccination effort in the province’s history, Dix said.

As of Tuesday, 62,294 British Columbians had received the first of two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. More doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected Wednesday or Thursday with more doses of the Moderna vaccine expected Friday.

Federal officials are aiming to have a majority of Canadians be inoculated by the fall.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she was pleased to welcome Ballem to the team as health officials across B.C. work to scale up vaccine rollouts as more doses arrive. Henry added officials will have further details on upscaling vaccine efforts in the next few days.

As of Tuesday, there were a recorded 1,019 COVID-related deaths in B.C. The province has recorded a total of 58,553 cases.



Source:- Clearwater Times

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How many new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island? Health officials to provide update – CTV News VI



British Columbia health officials identified 32 new cases of COVID-19 in the Island Health region Wednesday, nearing a record-high for Vancouver Island.

The new cases were among 500 cases discovered across B.C. over the past 24 hours.

There are 183 active cases in the island region Wednesday, including 15 people in hospital and seven in critical care. 

Island Health has identified the approximate location of 177 of the active cases. Twenty-two are located in the South Island, 132 are active in the Central Island and 23 are ongoing in the North Island.

Fourteen more people in B.C. have died of the disease Wednesday, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,104.

No one in the Island Health region died of the virus over the past 24 hours.However, Island Health has confirmed that a death on Vancouver Island on Monday was located at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence, a long-term care home in Nanaimo where a COVID-19 outbreak is currently ongoing.

It was the second death related to the outbreak at the care home.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of each of these individuals as they grieve the loss of a cherished loved one,” said the health authority. “To the staff at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence and Island Health staff involved, please know that the entire Island Health family is behind you and is thankful for the compassionate care you are providing during this difficult time.”

A total of 1,338 COVID-19 cases have now been recorded in the island region since the pandemic began. Seventeen people have died in Island Health over that time period and 1,127 have recovered.

The all-time high for new daily COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island was set on Jan. 12 and tied on Jan. 15 with 34 cases.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Wednesday that 98,125 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across B.C.

There were two new outbreaks reported in health-care facilities Wednesday, one in the Northern Health region and one in Vancouver Coastal Health.

A new community outbreak has also been confirmed at the Surrey pretrial correctional centre.

Despite the new outbreaks, health officials say they are optimistic that the province is winning its fight against the pandemic.

“Our COVID-19 curve is trending in the right direction, and we want to keep that going – to push our curve down, which in turn, will allow us to safely ease restrictions,” said Dix and Henry.

“We thank everyone for continuing to do their part to stop the spread in our communities and helping all of us to get to the finish line faster. With each day that we follow the public health measures, our communities and our loved ones are safer. Let’s keep going.”

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B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths – Comox Valley Record



B.C. public health officials reported 500 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, in line with recent results, as Fraser Health deals with an outbreak at Surrey Pretrial provincial prison.

Prisons and homeless shelters are among the priorities for B.C.’s immunization program after front-line health care workers and residents and staff of long-term care homes receive vaccine. There were 14 additional coronavirus-related deaths reported Wednesday, for a total of 1,104 since the pandemic began in B.C.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said recent test results show “our COVID-19 curve is trending in the right direction,” as vaccine delivery is expected to slow until early February. B.C. is approaching 100,000 vaccine doses given.

B.C. public health officials reported 584 new cases in the 24 hours up to Saturday, another 445 up to Sunday and 301 up to Monday, a lower total that generally reflects fewer test results completed on Sunday. There were 465 new cases on Tuesday.

The case distribution for Jan. 20 continues the recent pattern, with 216 cases in the Fraser Health region, 125 in Vancouver Coastal, 91 in Interior Health (Okanagan and Kootenay region), 35 in Northern Health and 32 on Vancouver Island.

There were two new outbreaks reported in the health care system, at Acropolis Manor in Prince Rupert and Villa Cathay Care Home in Vancouver. Outbreaks at Guildford Seniors Village in Surrey, Maple Ridge Seniors Village, Mountainview Village in Kelowna and Village by the Station in Penticton have been declared over.

RELATED: Penticton, Kelowna outbreaks get COVID-19 clearance

RELATED: Virus spike in Fernie, North Okanagan seeing increase


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COVID-19 outbreak at Surrey Pretrial; 500 new cases, 14 deaths in B.C. – News 1130



VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre as the province reports another 500 infections in B.C.

“Outbreak protocols are in place [at Surrey Pretrial], and public health teams from Fraser Health are contact tracing and supporting BC Corrections,” reads a joint statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

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While health officials note the virus curve is bending in the right direction, another 14 people have lost their lives to the virus, for a total of 1,104 deaths since the pandemic began.

So far, 98,125 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to British Columbians, however, Henry and Dix urge everyone to continue following health orders.

“Our COVID-19 curve is trending in the right direction, and we want to keep that going – to push our curve down, which in turn, will allow us to safely ease restrictions.

In addition to the outbreak at Surrey Pretrial, there are outbreaks at Villa Cathay in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and at the Acropolis Manor in the Northern Health.

The outbreaks are over at Guildford Seniors Village, Maple Ridge Seniors Village, Mountainview Village, and Village by the Station.

There are 320 people in hospital with the virus, fewer than the day before. Sixty-six of them are in critical care.

Of the 62,412 confirmed cases of the virus in B.C., 55,564 people have recovered.

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