Government and Health Authority Information

If you are ill or feel like you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please call:

  • Government of Canada Information Line: 1-833-784-4397
  • HealthLink BC: 8-1-1
  • NH COVID-19 Online Clinic and Information Line: 1-844-645-7811

B.C.'s Response to COVID-19 - this website provides the following information:

  • Provincial restrictions - By order of the PHO, everyone must significantly reduce social interactions
  • PHO orders - In a provincial state of emergency, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) can make orders as needed
  • Violation tickets - People and businesses can be issued a $230 or $2,300 violation ticket for unsafe COVID-19 behaviour; information includes How tickets are given out, and Reporting possible violations
  • Travel restrictions - Travel restrictions are in place, including air and land border crossings and ferry travel
  • Quarantine requirements - International travellers returning to B.C. are required by law to self-quarantine for 14 days
  • K to 12 education - Enhanced health and safety measures and learning groups are helping to keep K to 12 students safe
  • Health info - The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control is the best source for COVID-19 health information.

Vaccine Roll-out:

BC Recovery Benefit: The Province has announced a one-time tax-free payment to eligible British Columbian's. Applications to access this fund will be open December 18th, and you must apply to access this fund. Eligibility is based on net income from your 2019 tax return.

Local Health Area Data: The BCCDC has added an up-to-date data by local health authority which provides COVID-19 cases for the most recent 7-day Sunday-Saturday period. To view this map, scroll down to the orange colored map labelled "Cases by Local Health Area".

Phases of Testing: the BCCDC has information about the four current phases of COVID-19 testing occuring in BC.

Northern Health: this link will take you to the page with health information and updates specific to the Northern Health service area.

The Government of Canada: This website has information and assistance for health, travel, and financial aid.

Government of Canada COVID-19 App: This app works with smartphones to alert users of possible COVID-19 exposures and provides information for how to proceed if you believe you have been exposed.

COVID-19 – Outbreak declared at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital – Patient Care Unit

Northern Health Medical Health Officers have declared a COVID-19 outbreak on the Patient Care Unit at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital (PRRH), following labconfirmed cases among patients on the unit. At the time of the outbreak declaration, testing has identified four patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Monitoring and testing is underway to identify any additional cases.

Enhanced outbreak control measures are in place at (PRRH). Northern Health Public Health is closely monitoring for additional cases, and the facility is taking steps to protect the health of staff and those they care for, with enhanced outbreak precautions such as (but not limited to):

  • Increased frequency of cleaning and infection control measures
  • Enhanced symptom monitoring among all staff and patients
  • Limiting movement of staff and patients between care areas of the hospital

Public health officials will be monitoring the situation carefully over coming weeks and will only declare the outbreak over when they are confident that chains of transmission have been stopped. More information on public exposures, school exposures, and facility or community outbreaks of COVID-19 within the Northern Health region, is available here: www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/public-exposures-and-outbreaks

Northern Health COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic locations – Phase 2

Northern Health is inviting seniors aged 90 and older, and Indigenous people aged 65 and older, to book an appointment for a free COVID-19 vaccine at one of more than 30 vaccine clinic locations across the region.

The Northern call centre opens Monday March 8, for seniors aged 90 and older, Indigenous peoples aged 65 and older. The call centre will operate 7am to 7pm PST, seven days a week, and clinic locations will be confirmed at the time of booking.

When to call is based on age, with a staggered schedule that may vary - and some communities may have different directions and eligibility. Northerners are encouraged to visit the Northern Health website for details on their local appointment eligibility schedules, as they may vary from community to community.

Northern Health continues to work in partnership with First Nations Health Authority, Métis Nation British Columbia, Friendship Centres and other community organizations, to ensure COVID-19 immunization clinics will have cultural supports available for those who self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) individuals.

Our goal is to administer nearly 15-thousand COVID-19 vaccine doses through Phase 2 clinics, between March 15 and April 10, 2021. As BC’s vaccine program continues to expand, our capacity will expand with several mass clinics opening by mid-April.

“Our Phase 2 clinics include venues in more than 30 northern BC communities; ranging from local health care facilities, to schools and local colleges, and conference and event centres,” said NH CEO Cathy Ulrich. “We want to thank each and every community for their help in allowing use of their venues in the planned COVID-19 vaccine rollout.”

The full list of clinic locations is available on the Northern Health COVID-19 Vaccine Plan web page.

Vaccine appointment call centres expect to have high call volumes in the coming days and weeks. If it’s not your turn yet, please do not call in to book an appointment. Everyone who is eligible to book a vaccination appointment will be able to do so, and nobody will miss the chance to the get the vaccine when a new phase starts. Once you become eligible, you are always eligible.

Northern Health also encourages reaching out to family, friends and neighbours to see if they need help booking an appointment. For more information, what you should have ready, and step-by-step instructions on how to call to book an appointment for yourself, for a family member, for a friend or neighbour, please visit the BC Seniors First website.

Northern Health Bulletin: COVID-19 Immunization Update (March 2, 2021)

On March 1, the Government of BC and Ministry of Health announced the next steps in the Immunize BC covid-19 immunization plans. Phase 2 of this plan has begun today and will continue until April 12, 2021. All of the information about the immunization strategy and the phased approach can be found on the BCCDC web here.

I want to thank you for your leadership and commitment during this past year. It has not been easy, and with the exceptional support from our partners in the North, we are able to see the end of this journey and a return to some normalcy. Thank you again!

Phase 2 Sequencing until April 12

In March, we will be completing Phase 1 immunizations, including immunizations for anyone in Phase 1 who was missed. In addition to Northern Health staff and medical staff, the vaccine will be offered to the following Phase 2 groups in March:

  • People receiving long-term home support services and staff.
  • Seniors and high-risk people residing in independent living and senior’s supportive housing (including staff),
  • Those aged 70+ that are living with those in independent living or long-term home support services.
  • Residents and staff in congregate settings:
    • Shelters;
    • Supportive seniors projects;
    • Supportive housing;
    • Adult group homes;
    • Mental Health & Substance Use group settings;
    • Community Living BC; and
    • Correctional facilities.

Beginning March 8, 2021, seniors aged 80+ born before 1941 and Indigenous people aged 65+ (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) born in or before 1956, who are not living in independent living or senior’s supportive housing, can make one call to book their appointment through Northern Health’s call centre according to a staggered schedule. There is no requirement to register before booking. Immunization clinic locations will be confirmed at the time of booking, with vaccinations starting as early as March 15.

The contact information for the Northern Health region, complete call-in schedules, hours of operations and step-by-step instructions on how to call to booik an appointment or to book an appointment for a loved one will be available on March 8, 2021, through www.gov.bc.ca/bcseniorsfirst, and on the Northern Health Website. The toll-free phone number is 1.844.255.7555. More details will be provided on this over the coming week.

Second Dose

Dr. Henry, Provincial Health Officer has made the decision to delay the administration of the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine to 16 weeks after the first dose. This decision has been made after careful review of the evidence in B.C., Canada and international jurisdictions. As a result, Northern Health will be delaying all Dose 2 immunizations and clinics as of today, March 1, 2021. The second dose will be provided 16 weeks following the first dose and clinics will be organized to accommodate this new time frame.

The Canadian National Immunization Advisory Committee has concluded that there is a benefit to extending the time between first and second doses to four months. In BC, the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Health has decided that it is in the best interests of British Columbians to have as many people as possible immunized with the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as feasible dependent on vaccine supply.

  • Is it safe for my second dose to be delayed?
    • Yes, Health Canada supports a longer delay between first and second doses. Many countries have delayed second doses and found that people still have a strong immune response against COVID-19.
  • Am I protected by one dose?
    • Studies around the world are showing that even one dose of COVID-19 vaccine provides very good protection against transmission of COVID-19 and serious illness.

Notes

  1. All direct care providers will have the opportunity to be immunized in Phases 1 and 2.
  2. Eligible groups could be expanded based on direction from the provincial immunization program.
  3. The immunization plan is dependent on vaccine delivery and may be amended.
  4. Information regarding how the Astra Zeneca vaccine that has recently been approved in Canada will be used most strategically in British Columbia will be available within the next couple of weeks.