Yesterday the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) announced that for the period of April 11 – 17 there were 11 new cases of COVID-19 reported for the Powell River Local Health Area (includes City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation).
Wondering about how to read the BCCDC maps? Please scroll to the end of this update.
New COVID case numbers around the province are slowly dropping, but with 862 new cases announced yesterday (Wednesday, April 21), they are still very high. Furthermore, hospitalization rates and the number of COVID patients in intensive care units remain at a record high.
“Our front-line health-care workers are under intense pressure and the number of people requiring specialized care in our critical and intensive care units continues to increase,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix, emphasized in a joint statement today. “This is the result of our individual and collective actions from two weeks ago. What we do today will determine how we fare two weeks from now.”
Doing what we can to break the chains of transmission is critical.
“It is the small, simple things we do every day that make a difference – washing our hands, wearing a mask, staying away from others and not travelling if we do not need to. And the time to do that is now.”
On Monday, the Public Health Office announced that current province-wide restrictions will remain in place until May 25. This includes
- The cancellation of all indoor low-intensity group exercise classes
- No indoor dining in restaurants, pubs and bars
- Workplaces with a COVID-19 exposure may be ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days
On Friday, April 23 the government is expected to introduce a new travel restriction which will prohibit people from moving between health authority regions for non-essential reasons. More details on this will be released later this week.
As vaccine registration has been opened to people as young as 25 (as of 12 pm today), there has been some confusion locally about the difference between “registration” and “booking”, and when people in the Powell River area can actually book a vaccine appointment.
Registering for a vaccine is a good thing to do because it helps the people who are running the clinics to plan. You can register online at https://www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/s/ or phone 1-833-838-2323. However, registering for a vaccine does not mean you will necessarily be able to book a vaccine right away.
After you have registered watch for an email, phone call or SMS text message with more information on how to book your appointment. You may not get a notice to book your appointment on the same day you register. You will be contacted when you are eligible to book a vaccine appointment based on three factors:
- Your age
- B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan phases
- Vaccine Supply
Locally, supplies of vaccines being delivered through Vancouver Coastal Health clinics have temporarily slowed. The local clinic schedule and bookings will pick up as more vaccines are made available.
On Monday, the age range for people who can receive the AstraZeneca virus was expanded to include people 40 years of age and older. These vaccines are being delivered through five local pharmacies (see prcomplexclinic.com/vaccines for details).
However, the government alerted pharmacies on Wednesday that supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine in B.C. could be relatively limited over the next month or more, and that presently the provincial government is focused on 13 priority communities of high transmission.
Travelling out of town to get vaccinated is discouraged as the non-essential travel ban is still in place to reduce further spread of the coronavirus and its variants.
Please be patient as we wait for more vaccines to be made available locally, and we will continue to provide weekly updates on the changing situation.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please get tested.
There are two sites where people can currently get tested in Powell River. The Medical Clinic Associates on Joyce Avenue is doing COVID testing Monday through Friday, with the exception of stat holidays. To request an appointment please fill out the form at prcomplexclinic.com. This is the preferred method of booking so that phone lines do not become overwhelmed. However, if you are not able to book online you can call 604-485-3572 between 9 and 11 am on weekdays.
COVID testing is also being done at the Emergency Room at the Powell River General Hospital. People with severe symptoms, or those needing a test outside Medical Clinic Associates hours (listed above) should seek a test at this location.
Residents of Texada Island should call 604-486-7525 to book a test if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. COVID testing is being offered at the Texada clinic Monday through Friday.
The BC Centre for Disease Control releases weekly case numbers for each local health area in the province. The Powell River local health area (LHA) includes the City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation.
The data shared is collected weekend to weekend and published each Wednesday.
It is important to remember that this data does not necessarily reflect current risk levels. It is a snapshot of exposures from 2-3 weeks ago (since the information, when received, is roughly a week old, and positive tests typically reflect exposures that happened 1-2 weeks before).
The number of new cases in an LHA (for the time period on the map) is indicated by the number that is shown in the LHA on the map.
Colour interpretation of maps
To make it easier to compare cases in areas with varying populations, the colour coding of these maps shows an estimated daily case rate per 100,000 people. (For example, 2 cases per week amongst 20,000 people locally would equal 10 cases per week for 100,000 people. Divided by 7 days in a week that equals 1.42 cases per day per 100,000 people).
Areas marked in white indicate 0 cases, and lighter shades of yellow show areas that are doing comparatively better, while darker ones have greater COVID-19 case density.