Sunshine Coast COVID Physician Task Force
COMMUNITY UPDATE #45 - Feb. 11, 2021
Dear Fellow Sunshine Coast Residents:
As we look forward to a wintery long weekend ahead, we are encouraged by the recent drop in COVID-19 numbers here on the Sunshine Coast. While positive cases are still being detected, we are currently seeing less than one positive case per day over the past week, which is great progress! We wouldn't be here without everyone's dedication and sacrifice, and we thank each and every one of you for doing your part!
With that being said, we must continue to follow the latest public health guidelines in the coming weeks to keep our community safe. This means staying on the Coast unless you have an essential reason to travel and only gathering with members of your immediate household (or a very limited core bubble if you live alone). Please don’t carpool and avoid gathering with extended family on the long weekend. Please keep it virtual and close to home, and we will keep our community safe until vaccines arrive for our most vulnerable community members.
We remain hopeful that vaccine supply will be increasing in the coming weeks, bringing with it further opportunities to immunize more members of our community. As per the provincial immunization strategy, we will be entering Phase Two when supply allows. Phase Two will include those who are 80 years of age and older living at home, as well as Indigenous Elders over the age of 65.
Further information about the vaccine clinics, and how to register if you are eligible, will be available soon, and will be broadly distributed by local media, as well as in our forthcoming updates. In the meantime, if you have questions about the vaccination plans for our community, please call the Sunshine Coast COVID Vaccine Info Line at 604-885-8714. Please do not call our local Public Health Units, as they are hard at work getting preparations underway!
Once Phase Two is complete, the vaccine rollout will continue by descending 5-year age cohorts, over the coming months. Please refer to the provincial immunization strategy to determine when you and your loved ones will be eligible.
Please know that the vaccine rollout strategy has been developed at the provincial level, with every effort made to ensure that it happens in an ethical and efficient manner. While most people will receive their vaccines with their age cohort, there are a few exceptions for those regarded as "clinically extremely vulnerable". To find out if you may qualify under this exception, please visit the provincial Immunization Plan website.
Please arrange for testing right away if you have even one of the key COVID-19 symptoms: fever, chills, new cough (or worsening of a chronic cough), difficulty breathing, or loss of sense of taste or smell. You should also get tested if you have two or more of the following symptoms for more than 24 hours: a sore throat, headache, extreme fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, and muscle aches.
If you meet criteria for testing, please contact the Respiratory Assessment Clinic by phone or text at 604-740-1252, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.. The clinic remains open seven days a week from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.
While you are awaiting assessment or test results, you must self-isolate at home, ideally in a separate space where you can limit contact with other members of your household. You must continue to self-isolate until you have tested negative and your symptoms have resolved. If you test positive for COVID-19, you will have to continue self-isolating until you are cleared by Public Health.
If you have more severe symptoms and believe you may need to be admitted to hospital, please go to the Sechelt Hospital Emergency Department. If you need an ambulance, please call 911. Please remember that the Emergency Department remains open and safe for anyone with a medical emergency.
Keep well and please keep doing everything you can to keep our community safe!
The Sunshine Coast COVID Physician Task Force
Dr Jennifer Baxter
Dr Ted Krickan
Dr Herman Mentz
Dr Brian Nelson
Dr Daren Spithoff