Sun Peaks residents asked to ‘soldier forward’ during new provincial health restrictions

File photo.

Last week, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, issued new temporary health restrictions on gathering and events for the Interior, followed by a mask mandate for all of B.C. earlier this week. 

Laura Bantock, executive director of the Sun Peaks Community Health Centre, is asking Sun Peaks residents to “soldier forward.” 

While Bantock, or Interior Health Authority (IHA), don’t have public numbers on positive COVID-19 cases specific to the Sun Peaks area, Bantock said there are a few recent positive cases in our region. 

“We’re only getting results on our registered patients,” Bantock said “I have to say, within our patient population, which includes Sun Peaks, the surrounding valleys and Kamloops, there are some positive COVID test results, but of course that doesn’t mean they’re in Sun Peaks.”

“I think that we just have to soldier forward, pay strict attention to public health guidelines and importantly having the mindset that we do have COVID circulating in our community and we should take every step to protect ourselves, even if you’re fully vaccinated.”

IHA told SPIN in an email a total of 828 vaccinations were distributed in Sun Peaks’ rural vaccination clinics to date, 721 of which were first doses and 97 second doses.

However, the number does not account for those who may have been vaccinated at other clinics. Sun Peaks second vaccination clinic was rescheduled due to the Embleton Mountain wildfire in July.

Bantock added although it’s hard to judge whether cases will trend up or down, it’s best to look at the general, increasing trend in the health region.

“Just assume Sun Peaks is the same as any other small municipality or town [and know] the Interior is a bit of a hot spot.”

When asked about if the community generally seemed eager to get their vaccines, Bantock said the majority of people she’s spoken with are either fully vaccinated, or waiting for their second dose.

“I did speak to some residents who did have some hesitancy about getting the vaccine. One thing I heard a few times was they were afraid it would affect their fertility. My daughter and daughter-in-law are in that age group and I had no qualms, no questions, no hesitation [for them to be vaccinated] because it’s simply not true.”

In general though, Bantock said Sun Peaks has been very responsive to public health guidelines.

“I really do feel the shop owners, and everyone in the community, they’re very quick to act and very respectful.”

Bantock said if anyone has concerns about the vaccine, they are encouraged to call the clinic to schedule an appointment to speak with a health care provider about their concerns.

“I would welcome it if people had questions and just need some information, we’re happy to discuss this. We want people to get vaccinated and to clear up any misunderstandings.”

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