March 11 marked one year since the pandemic officially started. It has been a long ride, and we still have a distance to go. However, with a new public vaccination clinic opening on the upper floor of the Powell River Recreation Complex next week (Monday, March 15), there is light at the end of the tunnel. Signs of spring are also bringing signs of hope and joy.
For details about the new vaccination clinic see our article in this week’s Peak newspaper.
Public Health officials are emphasizing the continued importance of getting tested if symptoms occur, and of continuing to follow Public Health guidelines. As of March 15, drive-thru COVID testing will move to the Medical Clinic Associates building at 4794 Joyce Avenue. People can still book appointments for drive-thru testing at prcomplexclinic.com. If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing any other severe symptoms, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY or go to Emergency at the Hospital.
There were no new cases of COVID-19 in the Powell River Local Health Area for the period of February 28-March 6 (includes City of Powell River, qathet Regional District (minus Lasqueti), and Tla’amin Nation).
A modified return to certain activities might be possible over the next few weeks including Long Term Care visits, travel in households, resumption of religious gatherings, and youth sports. This afternoon Dr. Bonnie Henry announced an easing of restrictions on outdoor gatherings, effective immediately.
“You can meet friends outside and have a coffee, have a chat, have a connection, have a picnic in the park,” she said. Restrictions on indoor gatherings remain in place for now, so only people who are part of the same household can gather indoors.
Variants of Concern
In a joint statement from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix on Wednesday, March 10 it was stated that there have now been a total of 627 cases of variants of concern in our province. Of the total cases, 109 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 580 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 33 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 14 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant. Currently there are no variant cases in the Powell River Local Health Area.
There are currently four vaccines that have been approved for use by Health Canada – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). For more information on these vaccines visit this page.
This week health authorities in Powell River began booking appointments for people 80 years and older, and Indigenous people 65 years and older, to get their first dose of the vaccine. Vaccinations for people who have an appointment will start at the Complex Clinic on Monday, March 15.
To book an appointment people in the above age categories can call 1-877-587-5767 (or someone can call on their behalf). This is a toll-free line that will be open from 7 am to 7 pm seven days a week and is dedicated to booking vaccine appointments.
People who have clinical questions are advised to speak with their family doctor or nurse practitioner or call 811 for nursing advice before booking an appointment.
Before calling the phone line people are asked to have the following things on hand:
- Pen and paper
- Personal health number
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Postal code
- The phone number where you can best be reached
Please note that you will never be asked for your Social Insurance Number, driver’s licence number or banking and credit card details.
Vancouver Coastal Health is asking family members, friends and neighbours to help reach eligible seniors and ensure they are aware of the opportunity to book their vaccination.