Saturday October 9, 2021 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated October 11, 2021]
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
As people head into the Thanksgiving long weekend, what a relief at the change of routine (despite the change in weather).
Weather is several degrees below seasonal. That makes outdoor Thanksgiving visits and celebrations a bit less comfortable, but are safer than indoors during the continuing COVID pandemic.
There’s not so much talk about doing Thanksgiving via Zoom this year. People are hankering for personal and social contact.
Things are better than last year. At least this year most people at your home or dinner table are probably fully vaccinated against COVID-19. With the highly transmissible Delta variant wrecking havoc in BC communities, it’s smart to take precautions while socializing this weekend.
Public Health asks people to be cautious about COVID exposures; have Thanksgiving dinner with only your own household, or a limited small group.
Masks are now required for everyone in schools, and this week BC Health also issued a requirement for masks to be worn by children in public spaces (like shopping malls). School districts are in the process of deciding how to mandate vaccination for teachers and staff.
After Thanksgiving weekend last year there was a spike in COVID test-positive cases in BC. So hopefully the current level of vaccination (82.2% of people age 12+ have received two doses of COVID vaccine, as of October 8, 2021) helps, and also that people are more accustomed now to physical distancing and keeping groups small.
It may help to remember that children under the age of 12 are not yet vaccinated anywhere in Canada. Vaccines for children 5 to 11 years are in the works and some trial data from Pfizer is being studied by Health Canada.
COVID impacts still high:
In the past eight days in Island Health (Oct 1 to 8) there were 74 new cases of COVID-19 among children under the age of 10, with 55 youth (age 12 to 19) testing positive. Young adults (many of them parents) saw 103 new cases among people in their 20s, and 113 new cases among people in their 30s.
There are currently 39 people in Island Health hospitals due to COVID (with 25 of those in intensive care); across BC 360 people are presently in hospital with COVID (137 in ICU).
There have been 28 COVID-caused deaths across BC this month so far (Oct 1 to 8), of which two were on Vancouver Island.
COVID clinics this weekend:
Island Health says that some immunization clinics closed on Monday October 11.
Locally in the west shore there is an immunization clinic at Westshore Town Centre (in the mall, across from Winners), and out in Sooke at the Evergreen Shopping Centre. In Saanich there’s a drop-in clinic at University Heights Mall.
Travel & events:
BC Ferries reports limited Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay bookings (Vancouver/Victoria); if you don’t already have a booking, prepare for sailing waits. Customers might be accommodated on other sailings. Some new sailings have been added.
Other events this weekend are posted on our Calendar page.