President & CEO and Chief MHO Joint Update

Posted: January 15


We begin today’s message on a sad note, by acknowledging the deaths of two residents of the Chartwell Malaspina Care Home in Nanaimo where there is a COVID-19 outbreak. While it is remarkable that no one in long-term care in Island Health has died from COVID-19 until now, the loss of these two people is a sobering reminder that we’re not invulnerable. Our hearts go out to their families, loved ones, and care providers who have nurtured and befriended them while in our care.

We knew there would be some bumps along our vaccination journey, and this week has given us a big one. You may have seen news reports today about changes to how Pfizer is producing and providing vaccine, with significant delays to B.C.’s supply. We are still trying to figure out exactly how this will affect our vaccination rollout in Island Health, but it is clear that we are going to have to adapt our plans. As of now, we have paused making any new vaccination appointments while we take a closer look at our anticipated vaccine supply and seek further information and direction from the Provincial Health Officer. We will share more information as soon as we know it.

As disappointing as this news is, we have made progress this week with the expansion of vaccine clinics into new communities. Check out this video from our clinics for LTC staff in Nanaimo and Campbell River. In partnership with Cowichan Tribes and the First Nations Health Authority we have successfully administered 600 doses of vaccine to elders in Cowichan, over two days of clinics. This Cowichan Tribes video celebrates that milestone, and shares important information about the continued efforts needed to stop transmission of COVID-19 in the community.


Image removed.Check out our new COVID-19 Vaccine webpage. Here you will find current vaccine FAQs, our priority distribution listing, educational information and vaccine resources. From the Intranet homepage, you can click directly on the COVID-19 Vaccine button – or choose the COVID-19 Vaccine option from the left-hand navigation list on the COVID-19 page.

For information about the second dose, read this week’s article in The Weekly. Read also this week’s Town Hall FAQs

**Medical staff can access vaccine information here**


We would like to call out and acknowledge the work of our outreach teams for their commitment to working with our underserved populations across Island Health. There are more than 6,500 individuals who are homeless, living in encampments or in congregate housing. Mental Health and Substance Use Outreach Teams are working with people to make sure they have the health care services and supports they need, in all weather conditions, seven day a week and into the evenings. Our outreach teams provide basic health care, harm reduction supplies and links to other services, if and when people are ready.

Team members develop trusting relationships with this vulnerable population, and work alongside outreach physicians to offer and provide primary care services. They work directly with COVID positive underserved people and high-risk contacts, supporting them to get to designated isolation sites, and then making sure people have the supports needed to remain in isolation – including food, harm reduction supplies and substances. It is challenging work with a challenging clientele, which is why it is so important to have these trusting relationships in place between client and care provider, especially as we move into planning for vaccinations of this population. Our thanks to this dedicated team who are committed to keeping this population safe from COVID.


Provincial Update (Today):

  • 509 people have newly-confirmed COVID-19, for a total of 60,117 people
  • 9 new deaths, for a total of 1,047 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C.
  • 4,604 people with active COVID-19 in B.C. – 349 in hospital – 68 in l/ICU/HAU

Island Health Update (Thursday-Friday):

  • 34 (21 Thurs, 13 Fri) people have newly-confirmed COVID-19, for a total of 1,211 people
  • 2 new deaths, for a total of 15 COVID-19 related deaths in Island Health
  • 174 people with active COVID-19 in Island Health – 10 in hospital – 3 in ICU/HAU
  • 2 active outbreaks 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:


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


The new COVID-19 Vaccine Intranet page contains vaccine-related resources and education requirements for vaccine providers, and general vaccine resources for all Island Health staff, physicians, students, residents, contractors and volunteers.

Education Sessions and Recordings (General COVID-19 Communications and Employees Updates section)

TheRural and Remote Indigenous COVID-19 Response Framework has been posted in full in the Response and Containment Plans Subject of the page. Sections of the documents have been linked to in corresponding Subjects; see below for Subjects and links:

**Links will require Island Health Log-in**


COVID Vaccine

  • The following links have been removed and replaced with a link to the new COVID-19 Vaccine Intranet page:
    • COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs (Island Health)
    • COVID vaccines Resources for Health Professionals (BCCDC)
    • COVID-19 Vaccine (BCCDC site)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Eye Protection FAQs has been updated with a new question and answer (and ordering details) about ant-fogging products for face shields, visors and goggles.



Check out what is New Today on the BCCDC website

Stay informed:

  • Visit Island Health's ‘source of truth,’ COVID-19 webpage on the Intranet for operational information, wellness resources, outbreak notices and more.
  • The Medical Staff website has specific information for medical staff.
  • Vaccine FAQs are here.
  • Town Hall FAQs from the last session are here.
  • HR FAQs are here.
  • Masking policy FAQs are here.
  • Follow us and retweet/share COVID safety messaging: TwitterFacebook Instagram