Skip to content

COVID-19 claims nine more lives in B.C. as provincial vaccination plan rolls out

Death toll rises to 1,128
dr-bonnie-henry-jan-22
B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

The glimmer of hope is getting slightly bigger.

In a written statement this afternoon (Jan. 22), Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 508 new cases discovered in the past day in B.C., which brings the total to 63,484.

Of those, Northern Health recorded 55 more infections for an updated authority total of 3,109. 

Health officials also announced nine more people in B.C. have died from the virus, which brings the fatality rate to 1,128.

There are 4,479 people listed as active for COVID-19 throughout the province, 315 of whom are in hospital with 74 in critical care.

A total of 56,455 have been classified as fully recovered.

The light at the tunnel is getting closer as the province revealed its updated vaccine distribution plan this morning which included specific information including what order age groups will be vaccinated and when. 

Mobile clinics, in-house visits and digital records are set to play a critical part to immunize 4.3 million British Columbians against COVID-19 by the end of September.

The initial phase of the vaccine rollout has been underway since mid-December, targeting vulnerable groups and workers most exposed to infection. About 105,000 doses have been administered so far.

The latest plans from the province are the most detailed provided by government over the past month, outlining everything from efforts to launch local vaccination clinics to ensuring British Columbians pre-register for appointments.

Clinics will be set up beginning in March across 172 B.C. communities in partnership with municipalities, businesses and volunteers.

“We’ll utilize our arenas, our convention halls, our community centres to make sure that we can get everyone who wants a vaccination, a vaccination,” Premier John Horgan said during a Friday media briefing.

At peak immunization capacity, the province will be relying on 715 full-time immunizers across all five health regions as it seeks to administer about 100,000 doses per day.

Those immunizers are expected to see 140 patients a day to administer doses.

Mobile sites will also be deployed where necessary and home visits will be made possible for those unable to attend clinics.

The province will open pre-registration two to four weeks before someone is eligible for an appointment.

Those looking to pre-register will be able to do so via phone, mobile device or computer.

“We have a lot of very active, techno-savvy seniors but there’s still some people who are not comfortable with using an online registration and there will be a call centre — phone mechanism — for them to get assistance with registration,” said Penny Ballem, the executive lead of the B.C. immunization team.

She will be working on a central planning health platform to partner with health authorities to lay out plans to immunize on an age basis.

These efforts will require assistance from immunizers, charge nurses, administrative staff, security workers and data entry workers.

The phases of COVID-19 vaccine schedule

Those who get vaccinated will get a paper record of each administered dose, and they can also sign up for a provincial program to access their records electronically.

“Their vaccination record is not dependent on them carrying around that paper card, but that it is a [digital] provincial data set,” Ballem said.

The concept of deploying a “vaccine passport” to prove one has been vaccinated to receive any government services is not being considered by the province.

The initial Phase 1 rollout, which began in December and runs until the end of January, is focused on residents and staff and long-term care facilities, essential visitors to those facilities, residents and staff and assisted living residences, higher-risk hospital staff and paramedics, as well as those living in remote or isolated First Nations communities.

After the top-priority groups receive their vaccines, health officials plan to administer vaccines to elderly British Columbians above the age of 80, indigenous seniors over the age of 65 and other hospital staff.

Those first two phases are set to conclude by the end of March.

Vaccination efforts for the general population will then commence in April, requiring 7.4 million doses to be administered across the province by the end of September when the preceding doses are taking into account.

The third phase will start with those 75 to 9 years old and then carry on in descending five-year age brackets.

The province plans to vaccinate everyone who is 60 to 79 years old, as well as 16- to 69-year-olds that are considered extremely vulnerable, by the end of June.

People considered extremely vulnerable include those with specific cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma; people with severe respiratory issues; people on immunosuppression therapies; and adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease.

The remaining age groups — 18 to 59 years old — will then commence vaccinations in July in descending five-year age brackets, save for the final 18- to 24-year-old bracket. 

Those under 18 are currently not eligible for vaccination.

“It’s not necessarily a concern in that the evidence still supports that young people are much less likely to get infected and less likely to have severe illness,” B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

“The probability is it is very likely that once we have more traditional vaccines, they will be made available for younger people, and we’ll be looking at that and watching that carefully.”

About two million doses are expected to arrive in the province each month between July and September and the government is developing contingency plans in the event more vaccine comes in earlier and the opportunity presents itself to scale up the inoculation efforts.

All vaccines approved in Canada so far require two doses, meaning there will be a different number of first and second doses administered any given month.

For example, 600,000 first doses will be administered in May and 280,000 second doses will be administered that same month.

In Northern Health, the authority announced this morning the COVID-19 outbreak at a pair of Coastal GasLink work sites are now over. 

The two sites involved, 7 Mile Lodge and Little Rock Lake Lodge, saw a recorded total of 56 cases after the outbreak was declared on Dec. 19, 2020. 

"Northern Health is pleased to announce that Medical Health Officers have declared an end to the COVID-19 outbreak at two workforce accommodation sites on the Coastal Gas Link (CGL) project," a statement reads. 

The previous update on Jan. 8 said there had been an increase of three cases involving the outbreak after its Dec. 31, 2020 outbreak, but none were active. 

As of this publication, a full up-to-date list of northern B.C. schools marked for a COVID-19 exposure event is as follows: 

  • Prince Rupert Middle (SD52) - Jan. 13-15, 2021
  • Houston Secondary (SD54) - Jan. 13-15, 2021
  • Fort St. James Secondary (SD91) - Jan. 15, 2021
  • Nak'albun Elementary (Independent-Nak'azdli Fort St. James) - Jan. 11-14, 2021
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) - Jan. 12-13, 2021
  • DP Todd Secondary (SD57) - Jan. 4-6, 2021; Jan. 11-12, 2021
  • Chalo School (Independent, Fort Nelson First Nation) - Jan. 5-7, 2021; Jan. 6-8, 2021
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) - Jan. 11, 13-14, 2021
  • Parkside Secondary (SD82) - Jan. 8, 2021
  • Clearview Elementary-Junior Secondary (SD60) - Jan. 7-8, 2021
  • Centennial Christian School - Terrace (Independent) - Jan. 11-12, 2021
  • Houston Secondary (SD54) - Jan. 11-13, 2021
  • Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) - Jan. 11, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary (SD52) Jan. 11-13, 2021
  • Prince Rupert Middle (SD52) - Jan. 8, 2021
  • Lax Kxeen Elementary (SD52) - Jan. 7-8, 12, 2021
  • Decker Lake Elementary (SD91) - Jan. 4-6, 2021
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) - Jan. 6-7, 2021
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) - Jan. 4-6, 2021
  • McNaughton Secondary (SD28) - Jan. 6-8, 2021
  • Valemount Secondary (SD57) - Jan. 6, 2021
  • Skeena Middle School (SD82) - Jan. 4, 2021
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) - Jan. 4, 2021
  • Ecole Central Elementary (SD60) - Jan. 4, 2021
  • Mountain Christian School (Independent) - Dec. 18, 2020
    • Dec. 18, 2020 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Cedars Christian School (Independent) Prince George - Dec. 14-16
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30, 2020
  • Bert Ambrose Elementary School (SD60) - Dec. 17-18, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Sacred Heart Elementary (Diocese of Prince George) - Dec. 10-11, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Skeena Middle (SD82) - Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) - Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Parkside Secondary (SD82) - Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Ecole Mountain View Elementary (SD82) - Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) - Dec. 11, 2020
    • Dec. 11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25 
  • Margaret Ma Murray Community School (SD60) - Dec. 7-11, 2020; Dec. 14-16, 2020
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30
  • Alwin Holland Elementary (SD60) - Dec. 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31
  • North Peace Secondary School (SD60) - Dec. 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31
  • Bert Bowes Middle (SD60) - Dec. 14-16, 2020; Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 17-18; Nov. 16, 18-20, 30, 2020
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Pinewood Elementary (SD57) - Dec. 14-15, 2020; Dec. 14-18, 2020
    • Dec. 14-15 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
    • Dec. 14-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Southridge Elementary (SD57) - Dec. 10, 2020
    • Dec. 10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) - Dec. 10-11, 2020; Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
  • Heather Park Elementary (SD57) - Dec. 1-2, 3, 4, 7-8, 2020
    • Dec. 11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020 
  • Westwood Elementary (SD57) - Dec. 9; Dec. 8, 2020
    • Dec. 8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
    • Dec. 9 = Self-monitoring endedDec. 23, 2020 
  • St. Mary's Catholic School (Diocese of Prince George) - Dec. 8-11, 2020; Dec. 7-10, 2020; Dec. 3-4, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020
    • Dec. 7-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec 24, 2020
    • Dec. 8-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec.25, 2020
  • Mountain View Christian Academy (Independent) - Dec. 8-10, 2020; Dec. 7-8, 2020
    • Dec. 7-8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
    • Dec. 8-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Thornhill Primary School (SD82) - Dec. 4, 7-11, 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 4, 7-11,14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Walnut Park Elementary (SD54) - Dec. 9-10, 2020; Dec. 13-15, 2020
    • Dec. 9-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
    • Dec. 13-15 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
  • Shas Ti-Kelly Road Secondary (SD57) - Dec. 7-11, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
  • College Heights Secondary (SD57) - Dec. 10-11, 2020; Dec. 17-18, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • DP Todd Secondary (SD57) - Dec. 1 and 2, 2020
  • Dawson Creek Secondary - South Peace Campus (SD59) - Dec. 8, 2020; Nov. 16-18, 2020; Sept. 23-25, 2020
    • Dec. 8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) - Dec. 7 and 10, 2020
    • Dec. 10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) - Dec. 7, 2020; Oct. 15-16, 2020
  • Ecole Central Elementary (SD60) - Dec. 2-3, 4, 2020
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) - Dec. 3-4, 2020; Nov. 22-25, 2020; Sept. 16-18, 2020
  • Suwilaawks Community School - Terrace (SD82) - Dec. 1-2, 3-4, 2020; Nov. 27, 30, 2020
  • Kitwanga Elementary (SD82) - Dec. 1-3, 2020
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) - Dec. 1-3, 2020; Nov. 18, 2020; Oct. 2, 2020
  • Margaret Ma Murray Community School (SD60) - Dec. 1-4, 2020; Nov. 23-26, 27, 30, 2020
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) - Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
  • Fort St. James Secondary (SD91) - Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 19-20, 20-26, 30, 2020
  • Veritas Catholic School (Diocese of Prince George) - Nov. 30, 2020
  • Anne Roberts Young Elementary (SD60) - Nov. 30, 2020
  • Bert Ambrose Elementary (SD60) - Nov. 30, 2020
  • David Hoy Elementary (SD91) - Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 25-26, 2020; Sept. 17-18, 2020
  • William Konkin Elementary in Burns Lake (SD91) - Nov. 16, 23-24, 23-27, 2020
  • Energetic Learning Campus in Fort St. John (SD60) - Nov. 16-20, 23-27, 30, 2020
  • Peden Hill Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 12-17, 17-20, 24-27, Nov. 30, 2020
  • Centennial Christian in Terrace (Independent) - Nov. 23-26, 2020; Dec. 14-16, 2020
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) - Nov. 10, 12-13, 16, 19-20, 24-26, 2020; Dec. 16-17, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Sacred Heart Elementary (Diocese of Prince George) - Nov. 25-27, 2020
  • Charlie Lake Elementary (SD60) - Nov. 23-24, 16-26, 2020, Dec. 14-18, 2020
    • Dec. 14-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Ecole College Heights Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 19-20, 20-24, 2020
  • Beaverly Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 23-24, 2020
  • Foothills Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 23, 2020
  • Lakes District Secondary (SD91) - Nov. 23, 2020, Dec. 17, 2020
    • Dec. 17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Chetwynd Secondary (SD59) - Nov. 13, 2020
  • Van Bien Elementary (SD57) - Nov. 9-10, 2020
  • Ron Brent Elementary (SD57) - Oct. 30, 2020
  • Hudson's Hope Elementary-Junior Secondary (SD60) - Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2020
  • Immaculate Conception School (Diocese of Prince George) - Oct. 21-23, 2020
  • Roosevelt Park Elementary (SD52) - Oct. 21-22, 2020
  • Notre Dame in Dawson Creek (Private) - Oct. 13-14, 2020
  • Quesnel Junior Secondary (SD28) - Sept. 10-11, 15-18, 2020
  • Ecole Frank Ross Elementary (SD59) - Sept. 10-11, 2020

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), the following flights involving Prince George have been flagged for COVID-19 exposure: 

  • March 5 = Air Canada flight 8209 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows nine to 15
  • March 12 = Central Mountain Air flight 9M728 from Prince George to Kelowna - rows not reported
  • March 15 = Central Mountain Air flight 9M725 from Kelowna to Prince George - rows not reported
  • Aug. 21 = Air Canada flight 8212 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows six to 12
  • Aug. 24 = Flair Air flight 8711 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows 26 to 32
  • Aug. 24 = Flair Air flight 8711 from Prince George to Edmonton - rows 26 to 32
  • Oct. 13 = Flair Air flight 8187 from Prince George to Edmonton - rows 10 to 16
  • Oct. 18 = Air Canada flight 8209 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows eight to 14
  • Oct. 18 = Flair Air flight 8186 from Edmonton to Prince George - rows two to six
  • Oct. 22 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows three to nine
  • Oct. 31 = Flair Airlines flight 8186 from Edmonton to Prince George - rows not reported
  • Nov. 2 = Flair Airlines flight 8187 from Prince George to Edmonton - rows 26 to 32
  • Nov. 10 = Air Canada flight 8201 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows one to seven
  • Nov. 23 = WestJet flight 3297 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet light 3277 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet flight 3282 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows not reported
  • Nov. 26 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows not reported
  • Nov. 27 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows not reported
  • Dec. 16 = Air Canada/Jazz flight 8208 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows 14 to 20
  • Dec. 16 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows 16-19
  • Dec. 18 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows 15 -19
  • Dec. 18 = Air Canada/Jazz flight 8208 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows one to four
  • Dec. 19 = WestJet flight 3290 flight from Prince George to Vancouver - rows four to 10
  • Dec. 26 = Air Canada flight 8213 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows seven to 13
  • Dec. 30 = WestJet flight 3277 from Vancouver to Prince George - rows 13 to 19
  • Dec. 31 = Flair Airlines flight 8712 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows 13 to 19
  • Jan. 1 = WestJet flight 3282 from Prince George to Vancouver - rows three to nine

- with files from Tyler Orton, Business In Vancouver