Interior Health will offer flu shots only by appointment. (Pixabay)

Interior Health will offer flu shots only by appointment. (Pixabay)

Covid update from Interior Health

Flu shots will be available at Trail pharmacies and Kiro Wellness Centre by appointment this fall

There will be Interior Health flu clinics at Kiro Wellness Centre this fall, but they will be by appointment only – not drop-in – as the pandemic has cancelled the latter.

IH clarified that nixing the drop-in format is to avoid bringing large groups of people together, which can create a risk of COVID-19 transmission, especially for those most vulnerable to the virus, as well as the flu.

Interior Health says staff is working with community providers to make the flu vaccine available at pharmacies, travel clinics, and primary care centres.

The latest infection numbers released by Interior Health show that as of Wednesday, there are 78 cases in the IH region. All are currently linked to the Kelowna cluster.

Another 12 cases from other jurisdictions are also linked to the Kelowna cluster: five in Vancouver Coastal; and Fraser Health, seven.

The total cases associated with the cluster is now 90 – investigations into recent cases are ongoing.

Interior Health covers a large geographic area that includes larger cities such as Kelowna, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Trail, Penticton and Vernon, as well as a multitude of more rural and remote communities.

On a larger scale, Canada’s top doctor said she is concerned about a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country in recent weeks.

Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday that the rolling daily average of COVID-19 cases in Canada has risen from 487 cases last week to 496 cases currently.

Tam said the increase was “something we must keep a very close eye on,” but stressed that Canadians must do their part by limiting social interactions.

“The fate of the flattening of the curve is still within each of our hands. If we don’t follow public health measures – have giant parties, crowds, not observing physical distancing or masking or hand hygiene in certain environments – then you are going to see this uptick.”

The increase in cases comes as Canada has reached 114,597 cases and 8,901 deaths, with 87 per cent of patients having recovered. Many areas of the country are several weeks into a post-COVID reopening, including B.C., which entered Phase 3 last month.

“With an upswing being seen in some of the western provinces, the national curve does have an upward direction to it,” Tam said.

British Columbia has seen daily case counts in the high 20s and low 30s in recent weeks, with provincial officials expressing concerns about large gatherings linked to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Alberta has also seen a spike in COVID-19 cases, with its provincial health officer saying the surge needs to be a “wake-up call” for Albertans.