President & CEO COVID Update


JANUARY 12, 2021

Thank you to the nearly 400 staff and medical staff who joined us today for the first Town Hall of 2021. Given the volume of questions about the vaccine it was clear there is great interest, and some angst, about the year ahead – which is perfectly understandable in a world with so much change and uncertainty. For those of you unable to participate in the Town Hall, I want to share with you here what I shared earlier today.

While the vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel – it is going to be a bumpy ride before we get to that light. The introduction of vaccine is bringing up the same emotions and energy we saw around PPE back at the start of COVID. Supply is scarce and there are priority populations. Based on prevalence of cases in B.C. and the allocation of vaccine by the Provincial Government, some health authorities got started with their vaccine roll-out sooner, but we are all focused on the same priority populations over December and January.

At Island Health, we follow the advice of our Provincial Health Officer, because we are part of the B.C. health system. Our plan is guided by the priorities Dr. Henry outlined and this plan has three phases.

Phase 1: December – February – est. 27-33,000 individuals across Island Health

  • Staff and physicians in Long-Term Care and Assisted Living
  • Residents in Long-Term Care and Assisted Living
  • Individuals awaiting placement to LTC and Assisted Living
  • Essential Visitors to LTC
  • Remote and isolated Indigenous communities (8 identified by FNHA)
  • Indigenous communities experiencing clusters
  • Staff and physicians who work in hospital COVID units, ICUs and EDs (starting approximately January 21)
  • Paramedics (starting approximately January 21)

Phase 2: February – March – est. 88-108,000 individuals across Island Health

  • Individuals from Phase 1 who haven’t yet received their first dose.
  • 2nd dose for individuals within 35-42 days who have received their first dose
  • Seniors in the community over the age of 80
  • Indigenous elders over the age of 65 (not captured in Phase 1)
  • People experiencing homelessness and underserved populations
  • People in congregate living (supportive housing, mental health residential care, mental health tertiary clients, correctional facilities and group homes)
  • Long-term home support clients and Home Care staff
  • Family physicians and nurse practitioners in the community
  • Remaining health care staff
  • Remaining Indigenous communities not vaccinated in Phase 1

We are well underway vaccinating several of the prioritized groups in Phase 1. As highlighted above, we are beginning our roll-out to the noted acute care groups starting later next week. It is important to share that timelines outlined above are subject to the receipt of vaccine from the provincial government per schedule. Based on our initial estimates of the size of the population and scheduled vaccine arrivals for Phase 2 we may not fully complete the listed groups in this phase by the end of March. As we gain more clarity on the timing, and the timing of when all listed groups should anticipate being able to receive vaccine, we will share it with you.

Vaccinations will roll-out across the health authority while we continue to provide the high-quality health and care services our population relies on us to provide. We all have an important role to play as health care providers, to ensure we are modeling the way. A recent survey showed some 40% of Canadians have some concerns about getting vaccinated, and it will take our shared efforts to ensure we can get to herd immunity, so that our population is protected from this virus.

The final thing I want to acknowledge today is the level of frustration and angst that came through loud and clear in some of the questions posed at the Town Hall. We are all tired, we are frustrated, and we may actually be scared. While that is understandable, we can’t be disrespectful. Respect is one of our values here at Island Health and we have policies around respectful behaviour. So, a gentle reminder that, as we work through this, we are learning. We are only in week-4 of this vaccine program. It will continue to change and we will continue to learn and adapt. We need to treat each other with kindness and respect, knowing we are all working hard, and doing our best.

Thank you. ~ Kathy

  • Listen to the audio from the Town Hall.
  • Updated vaccine and Town Hall FAQ’s will be available at the end of the week.



The process to get your appointment for a vaccine is as follows:

  1. When it is your turn, you will receive an email survey asking you about your willingness to get the vaccine.
  2. Once we get your response back, we will be booking you in for that first dose.
  3. You will be called back for a second dose 35-42 days after your first dose.

Please know that Island Health is carefully tracking each first dose, to ensure a second dose is available for you during the recommended time frame.



“Thank you to the staff and volunteers at Campbell River Hospital’s vaccine clinic. They were exceptional and so organized, it was just a fantastic experience. As a Physician in Island Health, I am proud of our wonderful, caring staff who are working tirelessly for the well-being of patients and of each other.”

~ S. Hunter, MD, CCFP (Palliative Care and Long-Term Care)



Provincial Update (Today):

  • 446 people have newly-confirmed COVID-19, for a total of 58,553 people
  • 9 new deaths, for a total of 1,019 COVID-19 related deaths in B.C.
  • 5,045 people with active COVID-19 in B.C. – 368 in hospital – 72 in l/ICU/HAU

Island Health Update (Today):

  • 14 people have newly-confirmed COVID-19, for a total of 1,154 people
  • 0 new deaths, for a total of 13 COVID-19 related deaths in Island Health
  • 185 people with active COVID-19 in Island Health – 13 in hospital – 2 in ICU/HAU
  • 3 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:

Tuesday, January 12: Statement

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

Have a question or concern about COVID-19? Email