Brief: Revelstoke COVID-19 weekly case count drops to seven

COVID-19 community vaccination clinics running in Revelstoke until April 30 with appointments available; IH says it can get vaccines to anyone who wants one after that.

A BC Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by Local Health Area in B.C. for the week of April 18 to April 24, 2021. Image: BC Centre for Disease Control

There have been seven new COVID-19 cases recorded in the Revelstoke Local Health Area in the latest weekly reporting period running from April 18-24, the third week in a row of declining weekly new case numbers since the start of the month.

Revelstoke mass clinics until April 30, Interior Health assures it will continue to offer first dose

Revelstoke residents aged 18-plus have been eligible for the vaccine since April 6, part of a community-specific approach in Revelstoke. Large clinics at the community centre are scheduled until April 30. You can book an appointment by phone or online with all info available on this Interior Health website. On social media, residents broadly report that the Revelstoke clinics are well organized and run.

After April 30, Interior Health said it, “can assure that everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one,” and that IH, “will continue to offer vaccines to everyone 18+ in Revelstoke who wants one.”

Interior Health said as of the end of the day April 25, 5,806 people had received a first dose. As of the end of the day April 28, 5,951 had received a first dose. That means over the three most recent days of the clinic, only 145 people have received a first dose, despite a capacity of 500 people per day. As of the end of the day April 18, there had been 4,738 doses, an indication that the clinics were initially busy but then demand fell off.

Revelstoke Mountaineer has sought clarification from Interior Health multiple times in the past weeks on what numbers it is using for total population and 18-plus population for the Revelstoke clinics, but Interior Health has not yet adequately responded to specific questions that would bring clarity to the situation, instead opting for boilerplate answers that simply avoid the specific question.

For example, in an effort to better assess the question of vaccine supply and demand, we have asked for daily vaccine dose counts for the Revelstoke clinics. Although Interior Health took our request, it ignored the request in its response and did not provide the data. Likewise for clarification on specific questions related to Revelstoke Local Health Area population numbers and thresholds. In B.C., the population numbers used to generate COVID-19 statistics, such as rates per 100,000 population, are based on numbers generated by BC Stats. In Revelstoke, the Local Health Area population number is 10,696. Interior Health, however, is using a lower number and has not yet clarified why. As a result, it remains problematic to generate meaningful calculations on the percentage of residents vaccinated. As we have been doing for weeks now, we will continue to seek clarification from Interior Health on its numbers and definitions. As we referenced in this story, the actual population of Revelstoke is always up for debate.

According to BC Stats numbers used by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, the population of residents 18-plus in the Revelstoke LHA is 8,826, meaning about 67% of residents aged 18-plus has received a vaccine first dose. Of the total population, 10,696,  about 56% has received a first dose, but those percentages should be accompanied by an asterisk.

Although our request for specific daily numbers for vaccinations was not fulfilled, it’s our understanding clinics were initially near a stated 500-person per day capacity, but then traffic dropped off significantly, an indication there was adequate capacity for the total demand. Interior Health said it was targeting 2,000 vaccinations per week.

It appears eligible Revelstoke residents aged 18-plus who have requested a COVID-19 vaccine first dose have had opportunity to access appointments at clinics offering them.

When asked what vaccines have been available in Revelstoke, Interior Health said: “Vaccination clinics in Revelstoke have been using both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Vaccine supply can vary across time and locations, and it is recommended that residents accept the first vaccine that is offered to them.”

What’s the Revelstoke plan for second doses?

If you’ve had your first vaccination, look for a message within four months about your second.

When asked about the Revelstoke plan for second doses, Interior Health stated: “Those who registered for their first dose will receive an email, text message or phone call when it’s time to book their second dose. Planning is in progress for the rollout of second doses and will be based on provincial direction. We will ensure that everyone receives their second dose on or before 112 days after they received their first dose.”

 

Aaron Orlando is a Revelstoke-based journalist who serves as creative director of revelstokemountaineer.com and Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. He's been on the news beat in Revelstoke for the past 14 years, serving in senior editorial roles. If you have aaron@revelstokemountaineer.com or call/text him at 250-814-8710.