On Wednesday, August 4, B.C. Health Officials announced 342 new cases of COVID-19 in the province, which is the highest daily case count since May 27. The increase is being caused by the delta variant, which experts say is doubling the number of COVID-19 cases every seven to 10 days in our province. The delta variant is easier to catch and transmit, but the vaccines approved for use in Canada appear to prevent serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and death.
On July 28 Interior Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak in the central Okanagan due to significant increase in COVID transmission. They announced measures to contain the outbreak, including a regional mandatory mask order for all public indoor spaces and discouraging non-essential travel to the area for people who have yet to be fully vaccinated. More than 95 per cent of recent cases in the central Okanagan are among people who are not fully-immunized against COVID-19. This is an important reminder that immunization is our most effective prevention against COVID-19.
In Powell River case numbers remain low, but not non-existent. On Wednesday, August 4, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) reported 1 new case of COVID-19 for the period of July 25 to 31 for the Powell River Local Health Area (includes City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation).
Health officials are once again emphasizing the importance of getting tested for anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms in order to catch COVID-19 cases early. Contact tracers are still in place to identify close contacts. Self isolation is required for anyone who tests positive, even if they are vaccinated.
Local Vaccination Rates
As of Wednesday, August 4 our local vaccination rates were:
- 86% of adults 50+ have received their first dose
- 80% of adults 50+ have received their second dose
- 64% of adults 18-49 have received their first dose
- 48% of adults 18-49 have received their second dose
- 77% of people 12+ have received their first dose*
- 66% of people 12+ have received their second dose*
*Note that vaccination rates for people 12+ reflect an average of everyone 12 years and older who has been vaccinated, but vaccination rates for youth aged 12-18 in our area remain low. Health officials are especially encouraging people in that age category to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Provincially, as of Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, 81.5% of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 67.9% have received their second dose.
Pop-Up Clinics Starting This Week
Public Health Officials are also emphasizing the importance of vaccination for everyone who is eligible. Pop-up clinics begin in the Powell River area this week, in hopes of encouraging people who are not yet vaccinated to get their shot.
From 8:30 am – 4:30 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays anyone over the age of 12 can book an appointment or drop-in to the Complex Clinic, located on the upper floor of the Powell River Recreation Complex, for their first dose. Those who have been notified that they are eligible for their second dose can also book or drop in.
Anyone who doesn’t want to go to the Complex, doesn’t feel comfortable in a crowd, or wants to speak to someone privately about the COVID-19 vaccine, can call 604-223-4037 to make arrangements.
On Thursdays and Fridays in August pop-up clinics will be offered in a variety of locations in Powell River and the surrounding areas. Pop-up clinics for the following week include:
- Friday, August 6 from 10 am – 2 pm at the Lund Hotel Dining Room
- Monday, August 9 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Powell River Hospital Entrance
- Thursday, August 12 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Save On Foods entrance at Powell River Town Centre Mall
Do you need to wear a mask?
Locally masks are recommended in indoor public spaces for everyone aged 12 and over, until two weeks after the second vaccine dose. According to the provincial restart plan:
- Masks are optional for children aged 2 to 12
- Children under 2 should not wear masks
- Proof of vaccination does not need to be requested by service providers
- Some people may choose to continue to wear a mask after they’re fully vaccinated and that’s okay
If You Have Symptoms…Please Get Tested!
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 it is still important that you 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.