Nurse Angie Z. gets a thumbs up from Delores Campbell, one of the first of 9,008 residents to be vaccinated in the Prince Rupert and region community whole vaccination clinic which ran in the city from March 14 to 22. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View.

Nurse Angie Z. gets a thumbs up from Delores Campbell, one of the first of 9,008 residents to be vaccinated in the Prince Rupert and region community whole vaccination clinic which ran in the city from March 14 to 22. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View.

Health Minister addresses Prince Rupert — not in a good way

Dr. Henry says support local restaurant takeouts and travel for day trips only

Sixty-seven people in Prince Rupert have been diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past four days amid the city’s recent vaccine rollout.

During a COVID-19 news conference on April 1, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the numbers reflect that just because 9,008 people received their first vaccine dose in Prince Rupert and Port Edward, it doesn’t mean residents can let their guard down.

Speaking to the vaccine efficacy, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the protection of the vaccine is very good, but it is not perfect.

“It takes time for our bodies to respond. The protection is not high enough in everybody for about 21 days,” she said. “For some people protection may not get as high even after two doses. So, people can be infected particularly in the first couple of weeks.”

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital

Provincially, more than 788,649 vaccines have been administered, with 87,394 being a second dose.

Everyone needs to ensure those around them are socially safe by giving space to others. The end is in sight, Henry said, but it is not here yet.

“Right now it’s still incredibly important, even after you’ve been immunized, even after your community has been immunized that you take the precautions we all need to continue with – wearing masks, keeping distances and not getting together in crowds.”

Travel is still very high risk for everyone in the province and if people are in doubt about travel, just do not go. It is not the time for any of us to travel outside of our communities for leisure, vacations, or getaways, she said.

“Think about staying in the areas of where you would go for a day trip. If it requires an overnight stay, a vacation rental, then it is not a good idea right now.”

The top doctor said if a break is needed then support local business and stay at a local campground or hotel.

“Staying local will support local business. Get takeaway from your local restaurant. Support your local community,” Henry said.

Numbers in the Northern Health Authority reflected on the CDC dashboard stated that there were 39 new active cases overnight from March 31, with 297 active cases in the region. From the beginning of the pandemic, 6,043 Northern Health residents have been infected with the disease and 5,612 have recovered. There have been 124 deaths, according to the website.

Active cases of COVID-19 currently hospitalized total 30 in the health region, with three of them in an outbreak announced at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital on March 29. Northern Health released a statement on April 2nd, amending the originally announced number of four COVID-19 cases at the local health facility down to three and stated there had been no increases in cases.

READ MORE: Acropolis Manor resident dies from COVID-19

K-J Millar | Journalist
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