Between Oct. 3 and 9, 19 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on the Sunshine Coast.
The latest report shows a slight decrease from the previous week’s case number of 21 for the period of Sept. 26 to Oct. 2.
Powell River reported four new cases of the virus, while the Howe Sound area reported 33 for Oct. 3 to 9.
On the Sunshine Coast, 87 per cent of people ages 12 and older have received their first dose of the vaccine and 81 per cent have received two. Across B.C., 88.9 per cent of eligible people older than 12 have had one dose of the vaccine, while 82.7 per cent have had both.
As of Oct. 11, for Coasters between the ages of 12 and 17, 80 per cent had one dose and 69 per cent had both. The vaccination coverage for adults 18 to 49 years old is 81 per cent for the first shot and 71 per cent for the second. The vaccination rate for the oldest age category on the Coast, the 50-plus group, remains unchanged from the previous week’s report of 91 per cent for the first dose and 88 per cent for the second.
The province announced earlier this week that children ages five to 11 are now eligible to register to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as B.C. awaits Health Canada’s approval of the vaccine for that age group. There are about 340,000 children between the ages of five and 11 in B.C.
Meanwhile, companies have been announcing vaccine requirements for employees. BC Ferries said a new federal vaccination rule applies to its staff, who must now be fully vaccinated by the end of the month to work onboard a vessel with 12 or more crew members. The requirement will not apply to passengers, or staff who work in shore-based positions. A spokesperson for BC Ferries said about 80 per cent of the company’s 4,500 to 5,100 staff are estimated to be vaccinated.
Provincial public servants must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22.
Tuesday, Oct. 12, marked the first day the workers in care homes and assisted living facilities in B.C. must have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately five per cent of staff (just under 2,000 workers) at these facilities in B.C. were put on unpaid leave for not meeting the requirement. Other health-care workers in the province are required to have both doses of the vaccine by the end of the month.
Children ages five and older are now required to wear masks in indoor public places in B.C.
While the mandate originally applied to those 12 and older, the order was expanded on Tuesday, Oct. 12, the week after Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Ministry of Education started requiring all students to wear masks at school. Masks were previously “encouraged” for kindergarten to Grade 3 students and mandatory for grades 4 through 12.