Many spirits have been lifted this week, along with a cautious easing of province-wide restrictions, and the release of a four-step restart plan to get B.C. back to some semblance of normal by the fall of 2021. This plan is based on the condition that case counts and hospitalizations around the province continue to decline and vaccination rates continue to increase.
We are now in Step 1 of the plan, which means the following are allowed:
- Up to five visitors for a personal indoor gathering.
- Up to 10 visitors for either a personal outdoor gathering or seated, indoor organized gatherings.
- Up to 50 people for seated, outdoor organized gatherings.
- Indoor dining with up to six people; no mingling with other tables allowed.
- Outdoor sports games with no spectators.
- Indoor, in-person faith-based gatherings at a reduced capacity based on consultation with public health.
Officials defined an informal gathering is something like a small backyard barbecue, while a “seated, organized” gathering is something like an intimate wedding ceremony. Physical distancing and masks continue to be required in public indoor settings at this time.
This phase will stay in place until June 15 as long as case counts and hospitalizations remain stable around the province (and because we have a minimum of 60% of people 18 years and older who have received their first vaccine dose).
Phase 2, which includes the lifting of restrictions such as recreational travel within B.C., will start on June 15, as long as case counts and hospitalizations are declining and at least 65% of the population 18 and over have received their first vaccine dose. See more details about the plan and conditions here.
Case Counts & Testing
This evening (Wednesday, May 26) the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) announced that for the period of May 16 – 22 there was one new case 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).
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.
Children 12-17 (born in 2009 or earlier) are now eligible to register for and book dose one of their COVID-19 vaccination at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca.
This age group will receive an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer at this time). Currently all youth vaccinations are taking place at the Complex Clinic. No written consent is required from a parent or guardian for vaccination; youth are considered a “mature minor” if a health care provider has provided them with information, has given them a chance to ask questions and believes the youth has the necessary understanding to give the consent.
Youth can register and book themselves individually with the same process used now, or parents can register their children and provide their own (parent’s/guardian’s/trusted advisor’s) contact info on registration if preferred.
- Family or household units can be vaccinated together in one appointment, but each family member wanting a vaccine is asked to register before arriving at the clinic.
- A parent/guardian/trusted adult can bring children or foster children aged 12-17 to their own existing upcoming or new appointment.
- A parent/guardian/trusted adult can book one child a new appointment and bring all eligible children in the family to be vaccinated.
To register visit www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or phone 1-833-838-2323.
Local vaccination coverage
This tool, released a couple of weeks ago, by the BCCDC shows the most current information about vaccination coverage in our area. As of May 24th, 68% of adults 18+ and 81% of adults 50+ have been vaccinated in our Local Health Area.
The information is a bit difficult to find, but if you’d like to check on our progress through the week, follow these steps.
- Visit https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/bccdc/viz/BCCDCCOVID-19SurveillanceDashboard/Introduction
- Click on the MAP tab
- In the drop down box that says “choose metric for map” click on Vaccination Coverage 18+ (or 50+) and scroll over Powell River on the map for the latest percentage.