Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Slight increase in COVID-19 cases on the day, new measures for Industrial Work Camps in Northern Health region, vaccination planning and some final holiday advice among the themes of Wednesday briefing

The midweek report from Doctor Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provided for a slight uptick in the number of cases, as well as to outline the measures the province will take to deal with a rise of cases of COVID in industrial work camps across the Northern Health region.

The future for vaccine planning also made for some of today's discussion, as well as for the two officials to offer more holiday advice during this most unusual of holiday periods.

.. “Today, we are reporting 518 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 48,027 cases in British Columbia. “There are 9,137 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 348 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 80 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation. 

Currently, 9,689 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases (this excludes the Northern Health Authority) and a further 36,952 people who tested positive have recovered. 

There have been 19 new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 796 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Across the province the Five Regional Health Authorities have reported the following totals in British Columbia: 97 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 332 new cases in the Fraser Health region, nine in the Island Health region, 49 in the Interior Health region, 31 in the Northern Health region, making the Northern Health Total number of cases 1,652 since January of this year.

There were no new cases of COVID-19 reported by people who reside outside of Canada.

The Doctor and Health Minister also had an update on the provincial vaccination program now in motion:

 “Since the start of immunizations, 5,603 people have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in B.C. “Today, the federal government approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This is another encouraging step forward for all of us. 

Starting next week, the Moderna vaccine will be arriving in B.C., with some of the initial doses delivered to rural and isolated First Nations communities. Unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, this vaccine has fewer delivery restrictions, making it easier to provide immunizations in rural and remote communities." 

 Today also saw the introduction of a new measure for Industrial work camps in the Northern Health Region.

“Today, a new PHO order for industrial camps in the Northern Health region has been put in place. This order will allow for a phased approach to resuming activities at these projects, while protecting health and safety and protecting the health-care system. 

The nature of an industrial work camp means employees frequently travel to and from these work camps. At the start of the year, these camps typically have an influx of employees returning to the site. Combined, these factors mean a higher potential for spread amongst employees and in their home communities. 

We are already seeing many small, rural and remote communities in the North under strain. This order will help ease the pressure at the start of the year."

And with Christmas now but hours away, some final Christmas advice framed the Wednesday message:

“With Christmas two days away, we remind everyone to keep your celebrations small and avoid travel to other communities unless it is absolutely necessary. Show you care by staying away. 

For those who live alone, you do not need to be alone. Rather, choose one small group of one or two other people you are going to spend time with over the holidays – whether at your home or theirs. 

This is a special time for many of us and having those connections with the people we love and care for is important. We encourage you to have a small, safe and happy holiday, so we can all have a safer year ahead.”

You can review the Wednesday statement here.   

The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.

You can learn more about the outbreak from both the Province and the Federal government from the links below:

Federal Government site

British Columbia Government site

The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.

More from  Northern Health can be reviewed here 

You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.

Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, those past advisories  can be reviewed here.

For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee

Ottawa Observations

Victoria Viewpoints 

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