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Seniors, hospital dialysis patients transferred out of B.C. flood zones

226 frail elderly evacuated from senior care in Princeton, Merritt
Flooding on Highway 1 at Abbotsford, Nov. 16, 2021. (B.C. government photo)

Kidney dialysis patients from Chilliwack and Hope have been transferred to Abbotsford or Surrey due to the impact of flooding and road closures on the Fraser Valley, and frail seniors from flood-damaged Merritt and Princeton have been moved to communities in the Cariboo and Okanagan, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Monday.

Dix said there are 226 seniors, from long-term care, assisted living or long-term home support, who have been evacuated from Merritt and Princeton since last week’s widespread flooding and landslides. “They’ve gone to 100 Mile [House], Williams Lake, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Summerland and Penticton,” Dix told reporters at the B.C. legislature Nov. 22.

So far there have been 130 critical care patients transferred out of the Northern Health region to southern hospitals, as the North continues dealing with high rates of COVID-19 infection.

Dix said the floods and road closures caused some immediate problems for B.C.’s vaccine rollout, which now includes booster third doses for seniors in communities, Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccines for suspended health care workers, and as of next week will start vaccination for kids aged five to 11.

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