Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the battle against COVID-19 in Surrey is now being fought neighbourhood by neighbourhood.
“We have been prioritizing absolutely, making sure that the immunization programs in Surrey are being targeted to those populations and neighbourhoods that are most at risk,” Henry said Thursday. “Fraser Health is continuing to work on that.
“What we’ve been looking at is the case rates by neighbourhood and the immunization rates by neighbourhood, making sure we’re trying to optimize everybody who’s eligible to get into the clinic.”
Henry said she’s looking to community groups for support.
“I know Fraser Health has been reaching out to many,” she said. “We’ve been connecting with different groups in different parts of Surrey to make sure that we have the right language information for people, that we have leaders in those communities to support people to get out and be immunized.”
Henry noted, however, that a city the size of Surrey poses special challenges.
“We cannot do a city the population of Surrey all at once, we just don’t have the vaccine and we need to be able to address people at risk all over the province but it is the most challenging area right now for sure.”
In November, Henry told the Now-Leader during a technical briefing that Surrey was not subject to any special measures to fight the virus over and above the rest of the province, despite Health Minister Adrian Dix having back then described Surrey as “ground zero” for cases in B.C.
Dix told a press conference on Thursday that Surrey is a “major priority.”
“Surrey’s been a priority from the beginning and it is a priority now,” he said.
Meantime, Surrey Mounties are calling on celebrants of Vaisakhi and Kissan this weekend to heed COVID-19 public health orders.
Earlier this week, the Surrey RCMP’s COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team reported it issued 18 violation tickets, representing almost $17,000 in fines, during the previous week for non-compliance with public health orders.