This past week brought some exciting, and some troubling, developments in our pandemic marathon.
Reports of high case count numbers around the province, including growing variant cases, are cause for concern. For the period of March 28 – April 3 there were 2 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).
As reported this afternoon (Wednesday, April 7), 997 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in B.C. for the previous 24-hour period. There are currently 8,728 active cases of the disease in our province (including 266 variants of concern). Of total cases 330 people are hospitalized and 105 of them are in Intensive Care Units.
“Cases have surged and people are having much higher numbers of contacts,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in her April 6 press conference. “That has meant increased numbers of people in hospital and we know that much of this transmission is happening in young people.”
With the coming of spring and vaccines underway the feeling that we are approaching the finish line is understandable. However, the recent surge in case numbers is a stark reminder that COVID-19 (and its variants) is still very much with us, and that we must continue to follow safety measures, such as wearing a mask, hand washing and physically distancing – even after receiving an initial dose of the vaccine.
“We all have a choice,” today’s joint statement from Dr. Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix. “To bend the rules, or do our part to flatten our curve. No matter how tired of this pandemic we may be, let’s make the right choice today.”
To date, 946,096 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-SII COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in B.C., 87,504 of which are second doses. This is almost 20% of those who are eligible for a vaccine in B.C.
Online Vaccine Booking
On Tuesday, April 6 B.C.’s online registration and booking system was launched – you can find the direct link here: https://www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/s/
Those eligible can pre-register for a vaccine using this link. Once registered you will be notified when it is your turn to receive a vaccine.
Seniors aged 70 and older (born in 1951 or earlier) and Indigenous people 18 years and older (born in 2003 or earlier) are now eligible to book a vaccine appointment online or by phone. A new, provincial booking number was released this week. The new booking number is 1-833-838-2323 (lines are open from 7 am to 7 pm daily).
Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
People aged 16-70 who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, and who have received an invitation letter may also book a vaccine appointment via the same channels listed above.
If you are in this group and have not received a letter by April 15 you can confirm your eligibility and register online.
NOTE: If the registration system doesn’t confirm your eligibility, call 1-833-838-2323. If you are still having difficulty, get in touch with your doctor or nurse practitioner.
To determine if you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, and for more information, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/cev
Select Powell River Pharmacies now offering the AstraZeneca vaccine
People aged 55-65 can book an AstraZeneca vaccine at the any of following local pharmacies.
(please note that ONLY AstraZeneca is being offered by pharmacies and ONLY people aged 55-65 are eligible to receive this vaccine):
FreshCo Pharmacy 7040 Barnet Street
Online booking: www.pharmacyappointments.ca
Call (604) 485-1233
*All vaccine appointments are being booked online as vaccine supply is available. If there are no appointments available when you register, please check back as more appointments will be added as vaccine supplies are received.
Medicine Shoppe 111-4871 Joyce Avenue
Call (604) 489-5919
*The Medicine Shoppe is taking bookings now and will start vaccinations next week.
Rexall (Westview Pharmacy) 4794 Joyce Avenue
Call (604) 485-2929
*You can join an online waitlist at www.rexall.ca/covid-19/vaccines to be notified when a vaccine is available to you.
Shoppers Drug Mart 7100 Alberni St (in the Town Centre Mall)
You can pre-register at covid-19.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en
Powell River Pharmacy • 4280 Joyce Avenue
Call (604) 489-9272
AN UPDATE ON VACCINES FOR FRONT-LINE WORKERS
The province has temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under the age of 55. You can find more information here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/plan
If you are a front-line priority worker, do not call your local health authority. Front-line and essential workers will be contacted directly by employers once vaccines are available.