Delta Mayor George Harvie. (Submitted photo)

Delta Mayor George Harvie. (Submitted photo)

UPDATE: Mayor asks Fraser Health to reconsider North Delta vaccination site

Harvie wants a North Delta clinic to complement the South Delta location

Delta’s mayor is asking Fraser Health to keep North Delta in mind as the health authority finalizes where it is going to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

In a letter to Fraser Health president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee March 1, Mayor George Harvie said it is essential there be a vaccinate site in North Delta to compliment the planned South Delta location, noting North Delta is home to the largest percentage of the city’s population.

Harvie said city staff have been instructed to support vaccination clinics “in whatever means possible,” including using Delta’s seniors’ busses to transport residents to and from clinic locations, providing interpreters to overcome any language barriers and working with Delta Fire — whose members receive emergency medical responder training — to assist in vaccination rollout as needed.

“The City of Delta is not well served by transit and we must ensure that every opportunity is available locally for residents. Having these systems in place will ensure the highest level of vaccination participation, especially for Delta’s most vulnerable population,” Harvie wrote.

Harvie acknowledged the gymnasium at North Delta Recreation Centre may not fit all of Fraser Health’s criteria, but offered other options including both the Sungod and NDRC arenas and the Kennedy Seniors’ Recreation Centre.

“I appreciate the difficult decisions facing Fraser Health and the Province and appreciate all your work to date, however, I would respectfully ask that you reconsider a North Delta site to serve this population.”

On March 2, interim opposition leader Shirley Bond raised the issue during question period, citing comments made the day before by Premier John Horgan that seniors in Hope would not have to travel to neighbouring communities in order to get the vaccine.

“Yesterday the premier made a promise that seniors would be vaccinated in their communities. So today will he ensure that the residents of North Delta have a vaccination site for seniors? And, frankly, will he please give clear direction to health authorities so that day after day we’re not bringing another community expressing concerns and fears about their frail elderly citizens?” Bond asked.

Horgan responded by calling the immunization roll out an “extremely complicated situation” that requires everyone work together.

“So if our objective is to reduce anxiety, I suggest that we collectively put our shoulder to the wheel and work co-operatively to reduce anxiety,” Horgan said.

The premier then suggested Bond get a lesson in local geography.

“With respect to the particular request by the mayor of Delta, we’ll take that under consideration. But the member will also know that if you live in North Delta, you are right beside Surrey. It is a different community, but it is the same community for commerce … for shopping, for social interactions,” Horgan said. “Perhaps a geography lesson would be in order here.”

Last month, Surrey city council signed off on the Fraser Health Authority operating mass vaccination sites at four city-owned locations: Clayton Recreation Centre, Cloverdale Recreation Centre, South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre and Guildford Recreation Centre.

READ MORE: Four Surrey recreation centres chosen for mass vaccination sites (Feb. 22, 2021)

A report by city staff indicates Fraser Health plans to utilize the first three as primary sites, with the Guildford Recreation Centre — the closest of the four to North Delta — as a back-up location.

The report also notes the four sites are in addition to the existing three testing and vaccination sites in Surrey being utilized by Fraser Health (10025 King George Blvd., 14577 66 Ave., and the South Surrey Park & Ride).

While Fraser Health has yet to say where the South Delta vaccination clinic will be, it does currently operate a test collection centre at 4470 Clarence Taylor Cres. in Ladner.

Meanwhile, the province announced on Monday that it will begin immunizing seniors 90 and over next week.

Anticipating a huge demand from seniors living at home and their relatives for the coronavirus vaccine, the province has arranged a rolling schedule by age for people to contact their regional health authority for appointments. It begins with people aged 90 and up booking appointments starting March 8, with appointments starting March 15.

Those 85 and up can call starting March 15, with vaccinations starting March 22, and people aged 80 and up or their relatives can call starting March 22, with vaccinations starting March 29.

The phone line for Fraser Health (1-855-755-2455) will be activated starting March 8. Call centre information and a step-by-step process are available at gov.bc.ca/bcseniorsfirst and fraserhealth.ca. Relatives or friends of elderly people are allowed to call for appointments on their behalf when they are eligible.

The Fraser Health region, with more people and more seniors than the other four B.C. regions, will have online bookings available as well, in an effort to ease a rush of phone calls that provincial call centre staff may be unable to keep up with at first.

— with files from Tom Zytaruk and Tom Fletcher

READ MORE: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8 (March 1, 2021)

SEE ALSO: From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains (Feb. 27, 2021)



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusDelta

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read