March 23, 2021: COVID-19 Update from Dr. Nerine Kleinhans, Chief of Staff, Creston Valley Hospital
There are currently no active COVID-19 cases in Creston/Kootenay Lake.
1. This week, the following groups may book their app:
Seniors 78+ and Aboriginal people 55+ : Monday, March 22 from 12:00pm PDT
Seniors 77+ may book from Tuesday, March 23
Seniors 76+ may book from Thursday, March 25
Seniors 75+ may book from Saturday, March 27
2. Important info about local vaccine appointments:
Currently, the phone numbers used to book a COVID swab and a vaccination are the same:
1-877-740-7747 (save this # and share with your friends).
Please follow the prompts to get to the correct extension.
When you have an appointment for a COVID swab, you'll be instructed to call 250-254-2055 to let the nurse know you have arrived. Do not call this number to get a vaccine.
Despite our best efforts, we only have one staff member answering the phone. She does a great job, and does not deserve any ill treatment from the public. By complaining about the wait times, you steal time from the next person. We promise everyone in Creston will receive a vaccine. We ask for your patience while waiting for your age group to become eligible to book an appointment. Please note that when arriving for your vaccine appointment, you will need to go to the lower level of the hospital (Creston Health Centre) to check in with the receptionist who will then direct clients to the vaccination clinic.
3. Dr. Henry said the steady increase in numbers really is the third wave. Fraser Health is experiencing an increase in infections, and the risk of spreading them is even higher than in other areas because of the high population density in that region. The elderly were the first to be vaccinated, which is why we are now seeing more hospitalizations and ICU admissions in younger people. This is a very concerning trend. As COVID-19 cases rise among people between 20 and 39 and up to age 59, it is spreading through crowded households and workplaces.
4. AstraZeneca announced the results of a large study in the US that revealed 79% efficacy of the vaccine. There were no cases reported of the rare blood clots studied in Europe, and the vaccine did not contribute to an increased incidence of blood clots in general. Dr. Henry stressed today that COVID-19 infection carries a high risk of clots which has resulted in heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary embolism in young people.
5. An increase in new infections and clusters in the Lower Mainland has been linked to gatherings in violation of public health orders and workplace exposures. It is not permitted to plan birthday parties and weddings, or indoor celebrations in spring. Only outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed at the moment. Businesses and individuals that host such events may be subject to fines and heightened enforcement.
BC has administered over half a million doses of the vaccine, but that only covers 10.5% of the population. There is a long way to go yet. Currently, 100 000 vaccinations are being given per day in Canada. To reach the federal government's target of herd immunity by September, we will need to increase this number to 400 000 shots per day. We can see that pharmacies and medical offices should be part of the solution.
My Chief of Staff contract ends in a few weeks, so this blog post will probably be my last to the public. I will still be working in my clinic and hospital as before. We couldn't have made it through the past year without each one of you. I am extremely proud to call this community home.
-Dr. Nerine Kleinhans, Chief of Staff, Creston Valley Hospital.