A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID-19 cases climb to 52 as first vaccinations to begin Jan. 19

VCH has indicated vaccines will be available for off-reserve elders, but has not provided specifics

COVID-19 cases continued to rise during the week with the last update from the Nuxalk EOC putting the number of positive cases so far at 52 as of Jan. 15, 2021. There was also an announcement of a vaccine clinic for Nuxalk elders this coming Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Rachel Gilligan of Vancouver Coastal Health also confirmed that vaccinations will begin as early as this week for off-reserve members but has not provided any specifics on how many or for whom.

VCH’s website indicates that groups that will get vaccinated first are residents, staff and essential visitors to long-term care and assisted-living residences, individuals in hospital or community awaiting a long term care placement, health care workers providing care for COVID-19 patients in settings like Intensive Care Units, emergency departments, medical/surgical units and paramedics, and remote and isolated First Nations communities.

The vaccination program is expected to expand for community members in February.

The EOC noted in a published notice that while there have been 52 cases, there are also a number of people now coming out of isolation and no longer considered positive, therefore the actual number of positives is lower. VCH also issued a notice of a school exposure on Jan. 7 for Acwsalcta that affected grades 4 – 5 and 8 -12 physical education class.

SD49 confirmed that all its schools are open for students requiring extra support or care while remote instruction is being led by educators.

The board also approved the following motions: that the Board of Education continue the current model of remote instruction while students requiring extra support including but not limited to access to technology, academic support, or social emotional supports to be on-site of educational programming for the week of January 18-22; and, tat the Board of Education increase staffing to include a temporary, full-time teacher assignment for distance learning K-7 and a temporary, part-time teacher assignment for distance learning support 8-12.

More to come

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