From:                                         Northern Health <>

Sent:                                           December 15, 2021 4:49 PM

To:                                               McBride

Subject:                                     Update from Northern Health: Public Health Order revision (worship services allowed with vaccination), and more


The latest updates and information on COVID-19 from Northern Health

December 15, 2021

Note: Please share any information in this update as appropriate.


In this issue




Northern Health COVID-19 orders

NH regional Public Health Orders revised; worship services allowed with vaccination

Northern Health (NH) is updating public health orders for Gatherings and Events, to align with Provincial Health Officer Orders, and to allow worship services with COVID-19 safety requirements in place, including vaccination.

The regional public health orders covering all of the NH region are in response to sustained rates of COVID-19 activity and the impact on health care resources.

The revised NH Gatherings and Events COVID-19 Order took effect at midnight, December 10, 2021, and will be in place until at least January 31, 2022, while NH and provincial public health officials continue to evaluate levels of COVID-19 activity and ongoing impacts on the health care system, individuals, and communities.

Under the recent changes, faith-based organizations will be allowed to resume in-person worship services, as long as they are limited to 50% capacity in the place of worship and all participants over the age of 11 are vaccinated. Virtual or drive-in services can be held without a check of vaccination status.

The revised order also removes proof of vaccination requirements for outside events, in line with provincial measures.

For information about current Provincial orders, please see:

·         NH Orders and FAQ resources

·         NH Public Health COVID-19 Order Enforcement Actions

·         Provincial and regional restrictions

For complaints or concern related to orders, please call 250-565-7322 or email

Please note that changes to the orders reflect the ongoing risk of COVID-19, rates of transmission, and the impact they continue to have on health care resources.

COVID-19 immunization plan

Pediatric dose

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children 5 to 11. This vaccine uses a lower dose (10 micrograms), at one-third of the dose formulated for older children and adults, which will provide effective protection tailored to children’s immune systems. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) advises that children receive a two-dose series of the vaccine with an interval of eight weeks or more between the first and second dose.

For more information about this vaccine (including information about the vaccine and how to register a youth), please see COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 to 11.

Third dose

The third dose of the COVID-19 vaccination is for some people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. People who need a third dose will be contacted by the provincial Get Vaccinated system.

Booster dose

The booster dose is an additional non-urgent, non-compulsory vaccine that gets immunity back up to a desirable level of protection for an extended period of time. It will be available starting in January 2022.

To book a booster dose, please ensure you're registered in the Get Vaccinated system. If you have difficulty accessing online booking, please call 1-833-838-2323.

Please note that all pediatric, third, and booster doses will be by appointment only, they are not available for walk-ins.


Looking for COVID-19 testing and self-isolation information? Here’s where to go

With all the COVID-19 information available, it can be overwhelming to know where to find what you need. All Northern Health COVID-19 information is accessible from one handy spot from the homepage.

For those looking for information on testing, results, what to do if you test positive, and close contacts, the Northern Health COVID-19 testing and self-isolation page is the place to go!

COVID-19 testing information

If you’re looking to book a test or find out how to get your test results, check out the testing and results section. Here you’ll find links to:

·         Book a COVID-19 test with the online booking form

·         Get guidance on what to do after your COVID-19 test

If you have COVID-19

If you test positive, there are clear steps and a number of resources in the I have COVID-19 section. For example, you’ll find links to:

·         An infographic on what to expect when public health calls

·         A guidance document for COVID-19 cases and their close contacts that includes information on how to identify and notify your close contacts and what to do next.

If you’re a close contact

If you’ve been told you’re a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, then the I am a close contact section is for you. Here you’ll find information on:

·         What actions you need to take (see the table in this section)

·         Guidance for cases and contacts in the Northern Health region

Northern BC community immunization coverage

Immunization coverage for every community in Northern Health is available for you on the Northern BC community immunization coverage page. This link includes both first and second dose counts and percentages per community and is updated every week.

*Please note that Children Age 5-11 has been added into this report. We will be able to note the weekly change beginning next week.


BC vaccination coverage rates and COVID-19 activity

BCCDC COVID-19 dashboard

Visit the BCCDC COVID-19 surveillance dashboard for information by local health area (LHA) and community health service area (CHSA).

COVID-19 numbers

As of December 14, 18,089 cases have been reported in the NH region since the beginning of the pandemic.

·         Cases currently active: 213

·         New cases: 34

·         Currently in hospital: 15

·         Currently in ICU level care in hospital: 8

·         Deaths in the NH region since the beginning of the pandemic: 266

For the latest provincial numbers, see the BC COVID-19 dashboard, which is updated Monday-Friday. The dashboard may not work in all browsers; Chrome is suggested.

As well, for a visual comparison of COVID-19 cases in BC by HSDA to other Canadian and global jurisdictions, see the COVID-19 Epidemiology app. It’s updated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

·         BC COVID-19 pandemic update – December 14, 2021

·         BCCDC Situation Report – December 9, 2021

Northern Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics

Visit the Northern Health COVID-19 immunization clinics website for a list of local vaccination clinics.


Trusted links and resources for COVID-19

For current information on restrictions on travel, gatherings and other issues, see the Provincial Health Officer’s webpage on current health topics.



BC Coroner Report updated: January – October 2021, and record number of naloxone kits ordered

BC’s Coroners Service updated 2021 illicit drug toxicity deaths to include October 2021

·   201 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in October 2021, the highest number recorded in a month

·   Total of 1,782 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths between January and October 2021, the highest ever recorded in a calendar year

·   Fentanyl or its analogues detected in 84 per cent of all illicit drug toxicity deaths, with a greater number of cases with extreme fentanyl concentrations

·   No deaths reported at supervised consumption or overdose prevention sites

·   No indication that prescribed safe supply is contributing to illicit drug deaths

·   Read the full report here

·   Read about types of drugs detected here

October 2021 - A record number of Take Home Naloxone (THN) kits (over 43,500) were shipped by Toward the Heart

·   94,522 naloxone kits were reported as used to reverse an overdose since August 2012

·   Over half of kits distributed were reported as replacements for a used kit

·   83 per cent of people who received kits were people who used substances

·   This highlights that people with lived and living experience are the ones getting kits and using them to save the lives of their friends and community members




12 Things to Know this Holiday Season

We know the past two years have been really hard. Thank you for getting vaccinated against COVID-19 – you’re doing your part to help keep yourself, your family and your community safe and protected.

We are counting down some of the top twelve things to know to have a safe, healthy holiday season.

Day one – it’s been a hard year

Day two – merry and masked

Day three – communities with immunity

Follow along for the next 11 days for more tips and reminders for enjoying your holidays, while staying safe and healthy!


Community toolkit digital COVID-19 resource for community partners.

Wash your hands often with warm running water and soap for at least 20 seconds.


Avoid contact, keep a safe distance of at least 2 meters from others, and limit your movements to reduce contagion.