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President & CEO and Chief MHO Joint Update

SENT TO ALL STAFF, MEDICAL STAFF, STUDENTS AND VOLUNTEERS ON BEHALF OF KATHY MACNEIL, PRESIDENT & CEO, AND DR. RICHARD STANWICK, VP & Chief Medical Health Officer


APRIL 6, 2021

Welcome back from a lovely holiday weekend. We hope you were able to get some rest and enjoy the sun. If you were working over the weekend, thank you for your ongoing commitment to your colleagues and the people we serve.

Sadly, another Island Health resident died of COVID-19 over the Easter weekend – a woman in her 70s in North Island. Our sincere condolences to her loved ones and our dedicated teams involved in her care. This brings to 31 the number of people in Island Health who have died of COVID-19.

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The new provincial Get Vaccinated Booking and Registration System launched today – and by 2pm, more than 160,000 British Columbians had registered, with nearly 24,000 eligible people booking vaccination appointments! Please share the registration link with friends and family as their age cohort comes up, or register yourself if you plan to be immunized with your age cohort. The system allows people to pre-register, and they will be contacted to book an appointment when it is their turn.

For people in the 55-65 year demographic, Health Minister Adrian Dix shared today that more than 200,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will be distributed to select pharmacies around the province this week. In Island Health, this includes pharmacies in Parksville, Nanaimo and Victoria. Some pharmacies such as Shoppers Drug Mart, are allowing people to register online. We will share information about how and where people can be immunized with this supply as soon as we learn more from the BC Pharmacy Association.

You will see by the recent case numbers summarized below that cases in BC and in Island Health continue to surge, hospitalizations are up, and the number of young people who are in hospital, including ICU, is also increasing. “Unnecessary travel and social gatherings are fueling the spread,” Dr. Henry says. “All of our connections need to be safe connections. We need to have those interactions at a distance, wearing masks, making sure we have small numbers of people, and the same people.”

VARIANTS OF CONCERN

Dr. Henry provided new information today about how and where Variants of Concern (VoC) are spreading in BC. All of the new 207 BCCDC confirmed variants reported today are from the Lower Mainland (266 active VoC), representing 31% of active cases in BC. It’s important to know that there is a time delay before a VoC can be confirmed by the BCCDC – and because variants have a ‘competitive advantage’ in transmissibility, that number is expected to increase. 90% of positive cases in BC are now being screened for VoC.

Of the 328 people hospitalized with COVID-19 right now – 63 have VoC (42 B117 and 20 P1). The P1 variant is primarily in the Lower Mainland, although six of the total 20 VoC cases in Island Health are P1 variant. “Viruses by their very nature mutate and change,” Dr. Henry says. “We’ve seen in Ontario that it is about 60% the B.1.1.7 variant, and we are probably about a month behind them.”

Dr. Henry also shared that it is very likely that new variants will emerge, and the BCCDC will continue to use surveillance to detect them. Evidence to date shows that there has not been a drop in vaccine effectiveness, which is even more reason to ensure you and your loved ones get vaccinated as soon as eligible.

ESSENTIAL VISITS AND CHANGES

Essential visits are a vital part of care and recovery, and we need to continue balance the need for safety with the need for connection between individuals and their families. Read more about April 1st updates to the LTC/AL visitor policy and expectations around essential visits in acute care. For members of the Island Health family who are working to support increased connections between residents and their loved ones, thank you for helping connect, and reconnect, these critically important relationships.

Secondary Impacts of COVID-19: Women’s health, safety & financial security

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women, as shown in a report by the BC Women’s Health Foundation. Women’s health, safety, and financial security has worsened, with concerning trends related to women’s unemployment, unpaid care work, domestic violence and mental illness. Systemic policy interventions eliminating long-standing racism and sexism combined with local level interventions that support and empower all women; especially those dealing with more acute consequences of the pandemic, will contribute to an equitable pandemic recovery.

To learn more read the report or visit unmaskgenderinequity.ca

ISLAND HEALTH VACCINE STATS

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Read last week’s vaccine update here.

PROVINCIAL UPDATE (Today)

  • 1,068 people have newly-confirmed COVID-19, for a total of 105,988
  • 207 new cases are a variant of concern, for a total of 3,766 (266 active)
  • 3 new deaths, for a total of 1,489 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C.
  • 6,902 people with active COVID-19 in B.C. – 328 in hospital – 96 in ICU/HAU
  • See BC’s vaccine stats on the BCCDC COVID-19 dashboard

ISLAND HEALTH UPDATE (Saturday-Today):

  • 292 (72 Sat,147 Sun/Mon, 73 today) people have newly-confirmed COVID-19, for a total of 3,668
  • 1 new death, for a total of 31 COVID-19 related deaths in Island Health
  • 463 people with active COVID-19 in Island Health – 16 in hospital – 4 in ICU/HAU
  • 1 outbreak in Island Health facilities (Click Active under “Outbreaks” for more info)
  • See breakdown by region (South/Central/North)

Read updates from PHO Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix:

COVID-19 INTRANET PAGES

Since our last update, the following resources have either been added to or updated and posted on the COVID-19 Intranet pages.

New

Two new videos providing an overview of ImmsBC have been added to the Education Requirements & Resources for Immunization Clinic Staff section of the COVID-19 Vaccine page

The following documents have been added to the Working in Immunization Clinics section of the COVID-19 Vaccine page:

The following documents have been added to the Education Requirements & Resources for Immunization Clinic Staff section of the COVID-19 Vaccine page)

Changes

​Clinical Care – Cardiac Arrest

Clinic Operations (in the Working in Immunization Clinics section of the COVID-19 Vaccine page)

Documenting and Reporting (in the Working in Immunization Clinics section of the COVID-19 Vaccine page)

Transport, Storage and Handling (in the Working in Immunization Clinics section of the COVID-19 Vaccine page)

Education Requirements & Resources for Immunization Clinic Staff on the COVID-19 Vaccine Page

  • Now 9 different subjects to make it easier to access the resources for Electronic Documentation (ImmsBC) and Immunizer education requirements.
  • Updated content with the latest resources to support the clinics that are already transitioning to using the ImmsBC application for checking-in citizens.

External

Check out what is New Today on the BCCDC website.


Stay informed:


Have a question or concern about COVID-19? Email pandemic@viha.ca.

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