Doctor Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix gave an update on a number of topics related to COVID-19.

Dix gave the vaccination rates for employees at long term care and assisted living facilities in each health region:

  • Northern Health has 88% of its staff in long-term care with their first dose, and 79% with their second, and 93% of staff in assisted living have their first dose, 87% are fully vaccinated.
  • Interior Health has 93% of its staff in long-term care with their first dose, and 88% with their second, and 95% of staff in assisted living have their first dose, 90% are fully vaccinated.
  • Vancouver Coastal Health has 97% of its staff in long-term care with their first dose, and 94% with their second, and 99% of staff in assisted living have their first dose, 96% are fully vaccinated.
  • Vancouver Island Health has 95% of its staff in long-term care with their first dose, and 91% with their second, and 97% of staff in assisted living have their first dose, 94% are fully vaccinated.
  • Fraser Health has 97% of its staff in long-term care with their first dose, and 93% with their second, and 96% of staff in assisted living have their first dose, 94% are fully vaccinated.

Dix mentioned that represents about 46,000 workers in healthcare.

In addition, Henry announced long term care workers hired between October 12th and 26th will need to have at least one dose of a vaccine.

The second dose must be received within 28 to 35 days after the first.

Workers in long-term care who get their first dose prior to next Tuesday will be able to continue working but must meet the criteria.

Anyone who does not comply will be off work as of October 13th without pay.

Dix stressed the need for people to get vaccinated, adding that the situation was being managed at hospitals, but not well.

“Let not be your legacy be one of I should have, I wish I had if only I had. That is no legacy, not for you, not for your family, not for your friends. Please make the better decision.”

Dix said that from September 26th to October 2nd, 241 surgeries were postponed in BC:

  • 16 in Fraser Health
  • 56 in Interior Health
  • 1 in Northern Health
  • 11 in Vancouver Coastal Health
  • 157 in Vancouver Island Health

He added that from September 5th to October 2nd there were 1,384 cumulative surgical postponements.

“Offering yourself unprotected to COVID-19, presenting yourself unvaccinated to the brutally and assuredly transmissible Delta variant when there is an alternative is no way to make it through,” said Dix.

Henry also announced third doses will be available for more people who are immunocompromised, and added that they are looking at other communities that may need a booster shot as well.

She said about 100,000 people will receive an invitation in the coming days to receive a booster shot, and some of them include:

  • People on active treatment for a solid tumor or hematologic malignancy since March 2020 who are receiving systemic therapies.
  • People who have received radiation therapy for cancer since October 2020.
  • People who have HIV and are 65 years of age or older.

Henry adds that they’ve been in contact with specialists around the province to make sure the booster is getting out to those who need it.

She addressed the lack of health orders in place for settings like schools, adding that they’ve been talking through these issues.

“As I’ve said several times, public health orders require certain conditions to be in place. I have to have reasonable and probable grounds to believe there is a health hazard.”

She stressed the need for people to get vaccinated from not just COVID-19 with winter on the horizon.

“This means ensuring we are all fully vaccinated, both for COVID, and for Influenza.”