This week we tentatively move into Step 2 of the B.C. government’s Restart Plan, which includes the lifting of travel restrictions within B.C., outdoor personal gatherings up to 50 people, playdates and indoor visitors up to 5 people or one household. At least until July 1 the wearing of masks is still mandatory in public spaces, and health officials remind people to continue using layers of protection such as frequent handwashing, getting tested if any COVID symptoms arise, respecting personal space, etc. (For more details on what is permitted in each step see the graphic below).
This careful stride forward is possible because COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations around the province continue to decline, and vaccination rates continue to increase.
Yesterday the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) reported 1 new case of COVID-19 for the period of June 6 – 12 for the Powell River Local Health Area (includes City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation).
Provincially more than 76% of all adults and more than 74% of those 12 and older have now received their first dose of a COVID vaccine. In addition, more than 710,000 people have now received their second dose. As of Wednesday, June 16 our local vaccination rates (for people who have received their first dose) were:
- 83% of adults 50+
- 73% of adults 18+
- 72% of people 12+
In their June 16 statement Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix said, “British Columbia has some of the highest levels of immunization for Dose 1 in the world – something we can be incredibly proud of – and we have the ability to push that even higher.
“If you haven’t yet had a chance to book your first dose, please take a moment to do that today. Equally important, encourage those around you to do the same…As we continue with BC’s Restart plan, vaccines are the pathway for us to safely travel and resume our important social connections. Let’s ensure we’re all doing our part and encourage everyone around us to do the same.”
In Powell River anyone who is having trouble accessing a vaccine clinic (e.g. those who are homebound, or who are finding it difficult to get to the Complex Clinic) can call 604-223-4037 for extra support in getting vaccinated.
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control four COVID-19 variants have been detected in our province (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta). Monitoring and research on these variants are ongoing.
Reducing the spread of variants, and protecting ourselves against them, is a key reason why getting vaccinated is so important. One dose is good, but 2 doses are better. Research in the UK suggests that though efficacy of the vaccine types may fluctuate between variants, a first dose of any vaccine provides protection, and protection is increased with a second dose of the vaccine.
Ultimately, getting vaccinated decreases the risk of having severe COVID-19 disease or dying from it, prevents new variants from arising, and helps control the spread of COVID-19.
B.C. continues to adapt its strategy to control the pandemic and the variants of concern. As of June 2021, the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory’s genomic sequencing capacity has increased, and sequencing is done on all positive COVID-19 cases. This gives scientists more complete and accurate information about the COVID-19 variants.
Around B.C. people are being invited to book their second dose approximately 8 weeks after they received their first dose. This invitation will come by text, phone or email, according to the preference previously indicated.
Second doses are being administered via a similar schedule to first doses. Currently those who are at highest risk of severe illness and death are being prioritized.
You must be registered with the Get Vaccinated provincial registration system to get an invitation for an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine. If you have not yet registered, you can do so at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca. If you think you should have received an invitation but have not yet done so please ensure that you are registered. This includes
- Indigenous peoples
- People who are clinically extremely vulnerable
- Health care workers
Letters are also being mailed to this group of people to remind them to register.
Please bring photo ID and your booking confirmation to your appointment. You are also encouraged to bring your immunization record card or show your online immunization record on Health Gateway.
Feeling Sick? Get Tested!
Remaining vigilant about testing if you have any COVID symptoms is important to ensure that we stay on track with our provincial Restart Plan.
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.