VICTORIA, B.C. – Health Minister Adrian Dix says 92 patients have been airlifted out of Northern Health to ICU beds in other health authorities since September 5th.

He says there have been no surgical postponements due to unvaccinated staff in Northern Health.

“Fort St. John Hospital is prioritizing urgent, emergent and cancer surgeries to support critical care capacity and increasing COVID-19 admissions,” said Dix, who repeated the same status update for the Dawson Creek Hospital.

As of Friday, October 29th, Northern Health had four per cent of its workers (353) who were still not vaccinated, three per cent (217) were partially vaccinated, and 93 per cent (7,292) fully vaccinated.

Across the province, three per cent of healthcare workers excluding long-term care staff are still not vaccinated, two per cent partially vaccinated, and 95 per cent fully vaccinated.

Dr. Henry says the Province “closed one of the loopholes” that had been brought to their attention about youth sports organizations.

“It’s important as we move indoors, and as we align our vaccine card requirements, that we close this loophole that allowed coaches of youth sports or people who volunteered with youth sports not to be fully vaccinated,” said Henry, referring to the announcement last week about proof of vaccination for youth sports coaches and volunteers.

“Initially, we knew that most coaches and volunteers were vaccinated. But unfortunately, some people were taking advantage of that not really being required, and it has led to transmission. We have transmission that happened in a sports event where a number of teams came together and some of the adults spread the virus between them, and that spread into children who then brought it into schools.”

Henry says the Province has been working with ViaSport and the various leagues that support youth sports across British Columbia. She says it was their request to put in a requirement for people working with young children, either as a volunteer or a coach, to provide proof of vaccination.

“This requirement for proof of vaccination means we can keep these important youth programs safely going and keep our children safe,” said Henry.