The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)

More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

B.C. has received another 25,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, and expects more Moderna vaccine to arrive by the end of this week, Health Minister Adrian Dix says.

Vaccine supplies were running low as provincial health authorities raced to deploy their first doses, focusing on front-line health care workers and residents and staff in long-term care.

The latest update from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control shows 20 outbreaks in long-term care facilities in the Fraser Health region, the highest region for new infections in recent weeks. Another eight long-term care homes in Interior Health have outbreak protocols in place, along with two on Vancouver Island and 11 in the Vancouver Coastal region.

The latest two health care outbreaks are at Brocklehurst Gemstone Care Centre in Kamloops and Maple Ridge Seniors Village in the Fraser Valley. Two more have been declared over on Vancouver Island, at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Victoria and Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum Assisted Living in Duncan.

Even as the largest numbers of new infections continue to be located in the densely populated Lower Mainland, Dix said there is a concern about increased cases in Interior Health and Northern Health, particularly in remote communities.

In the Cariboo region, the Esk’etemc First Nation at Alkali Lake is dealing with a cluster of cases, following outbreaks at the Canim Lake and the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola, as well as an outbreak at Cariboo Memorial Hospital where four staff members tested positive.

RELATED: COVID-19 cluster identified at Alkali Lake community

RELATED: B.C. finds first case of South African virus variant


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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