On Tuesday, June 1, B.C. health officials announced the encouraging news that for the first time since October, B.C.’s daily COVID case numbers have dropped below 200. Active cases of people infected with COVID (2,800) is the lowest since November. In addition, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to slowly decline, and many surgeries which had been cancelled due to hospital strain during third wave are now being rescheduled.
For the Powell River Local Health Area (includes City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation) the BC Centre for Disease Control reported 0 new cases of COVID-19 for the period of May 23 – 29.
Variants continue to make up the majority of cases in B.C. The new variant from India, now called the delta variant, is starting to increase worldwide. This newest strain appears even more infectious than other variants and is expected to continue to make up a larger and larger share of cases.
Thus far all available vaccines do appear effective against existing COVID strains, though first doses are only partially protective. Second doses are even more important for full protection against variants (compared to the original COVID strains).
The provincial vaccination campaign is on track with more than 70% of adults 18+ and 67% of people 12+ having received their first dose of the vaccine. As of Wednesday, June 2 our local vaccination rates (for people who have received their first dose) were:
- 82% of adults 50+
- 71% of adults 18+
- 68% of people 12+
All this good news is somewhat tempered by the lingering threat of outbreaks if we try to get back to normal too quickly. Health officials continue to encourage people to remain vigilant and follow Public Health guidelines, until more people have been able to receive their second dose.
To view B.C.’s restart plan visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restart
People around the province are now starting to receive their second (booster) dose of vaccine. Currently those who are at highest risk of severe illness and death are being prioritized. Anyone 12 years and older who has not yet registered at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca is urged to do so to ensure that they are notified as soon as they are eligible for their second dose.
This week the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) confirmed that vaccines can safely and effectively be interchanged for first and second doses. This means that people who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccine may safely receive either the same vaccine or an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine for their second dose. People who received a first dose of one type of mRNA vaccine may safely receive another mRNA vaccine for their second dose.
Have Symptoms? Get Tested
In order to get back to normal it remains important that people who are experiencing symptoms get a COVID test. As a reminder, 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. 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.