Mask Mandate Returns
As the end of summer approaches active cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in B.C. Currently numbers are higher than they have been since the middle of May, and those infected are largely unvaccinated. As of today (Wednesday, August 25) it is once again mandatory for all people 12 years and older (regardless of vaccination status) to wear a mask in public indoor spaces throughout B.C. to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.
“As unvaccinated people continue to get sick and hospitalized with COVID-19, we’re taking another step to ensure we overcome COVID-19 together, and that we move forward together,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Our pandemic has always been about making good choices with the information we have and making the best choices to keep people safe. Now more than ever, we need to follow the advice and orders of the provincial health officer.”
Proof of Vaccination Required
It was also announced on Monday that starting September 13, 2021 proof of vaccination will be required in B.C. for people who are attending public social and recreational events. As of September 13, one dose of vaccine will be required for entry to these settings. By October 24, entry to these settings will require people to be fully vaccinated at least seven days after receiving both doses. People aged 12 and older will be required to show their proof of vaccination to enter public spaces including indoor ticketed sporting events, indoor and patio dining in restaurants, fitness centres, casinos and indoor organized events, like conferences and weddings.
The provincial government will be providing a secure weblink prior to September 13 where people will be able to access their proof of vaccination. It will be possible for people to save a copy of proof of vaccination to their phone so it is easy to show when entering businesses and events. Those not able to access their proof of vaccination online will be provided with a secure alternative option.
Earlier today (Wednesday, August 25) B.C. health officials reported 698 new cases of COVID-19, with 139 individuals in hospital and 75 in intensive care. Increasing case numbers continue to be attributed to the infectious delta variant.
In Powell River case numbers have also been increasing. Two cases were most recently reported for the week of August 15-21 by the BC Centre for Disease Control for the Powell River Local Health Area (includes City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation).
Vaccination is still our best tool against the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, and Vancouver Coastal Health is working with the Province of B.C. to remove barriers to vaccination and make it easier for people to get fully vaccinated.
Melie Dechamplain, Vancouver Coastal Health Director for Powell River, encourages every eligible person in the Powell River area to get their shot. “Vaccines don’t just protect the people getting vaccinated, they protect everyone around them, too. The more people in a community who are vaccinated – and therefore protected from COVID-19 – the harder it is for it to spread.”
Local Vaccine Clinics for September
Vaccine clinics will run each Wednesday in September at the Complex Clinic (on the upper level of the Powell River Recreation Complex) from 12 pm – 6 pm. The dates are September 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.
There will also be a number of pop-up clinics around the community, but only one of them has been announced at this point: Town Center Mall next Saturday Sept 4 from 10:00 AM – 14:00.
Local Vaccination Rates
As of Monday, August 23 our local vaccination rates were:
- 87% of adults 50+ have received their first dose
- 82% of adults 50+ have received their second dose
- 67% of adults 18-49 have received their first dose
- 55% of adults 18-49 have received their second dose
- 63% of people 12-17 have received their first dose*
- 45% of people 12-17 have received their second dose*
Provincially, as of Tuesday, August 24, 83.3% of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 75.1% have received their second dose.
Vaccinations become mandatory for long-term care and seniors’ assisted living workers
To help reduce COVID outbreaks, on August 12 a new public health order was announced that will make vaccination mandatory for people working in long-term care and assisted living facilities. These workers must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 12.
Other Preventative Measures
Besides vaccination there are other ways we can protect ourselves and others against the spread of the coronavirus. Wearing a mask when in close contact with others, frequent hand washing, and avoiding crowded spaces are some of the measures we have become used to over the past year, and health officials continue to recommend them as preventative measures.
Please Get Tested
Remember, it is important for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested! To stay on top of the virus we need to catch it as early as possible, before it has the chance to spread.
The Medical Clinic Associates on Joyce Avenue offers 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. 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.
The Powell River General Hospital and the testing site at the Medical Clinic Associates are focused on COVID-19 testing for people who have symptoms, or those who are directed by a health care provider to get a COVID test prior to a scheduled procedure.
Some private pay clinics offer testing for a fee to people who require asymptomatic testing for reasons that fall outside of B.C. public health recommendations such as for travel or employment. These include:
- Ultima at Vancouver airport 604-207-6900
- Inwell Medical in North Vancouver 604-971-5153
- Inwell Medical in Port Coquitlam 604-554-0992
- Travel Safe in Kitsilano 604-251-1975
- TMCV in Victoria 250-5923357
- CMV Medical in Nanaimo 1-833-332-7007
You can also find a complete list of private pay clinics offering asymptomatic testing in B.C. on the BCCDC website here.