This household in Hope’s Silver Creek neighbourhood embraced the hearts that became synonymous with the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with handmade hearts put up all around their yard. This photo was taken in May 2020. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)

This household in Hope’s Silver Creek neighbourhood embraced the hearts that became synonymous with the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with handmade hearts put up all around their yard. This photo was taken in May 2020. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)

Hope struggling with COVID vaccination rates, says mayor

Anti-passport sentiments boil over on Facebook page

Hope is having a hard time with COVID-19.

It’s been the lowest vaccinated community for months, and there were unprecedented high numbers in cases in the past few weeks. The latter is also true for Chilliwack and Agassiz/Harrison.

Mayor Peter Robb has spoken about the need for people to get vaccinated numerous times in council, and he repeated that call on Sept. 13.

“Our community is not doing well,” he said. “The age groups that are causing us issues are 20-39 and 60 and up… Help us out.”

The weekly stats from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) that came out on Wednesday back him up. Hope is now sitting at 66 per cent for fully vaccinated people ages 12 and up. Delta is at 86 per cent for the same age range.

New data released by BCCDC also shows the effect of vaccinations on the province’s case rate, and health authorities. In every chart provided, unvaccinated people account for the majority of cases. To read the data, visit BCCDCCOVID-19SurveillanceDashboard.

A community divided

The reticence toward vaccinations has been apparent in a local Facebook group, Hope BC Bulletin Board. Many arguments have popped up regarding vaccines over the last year, and during the campaign period for the federal election, a local restaurant was at the centre of it all.

When word got around that People’s Party of Canada candidate for Chilliwack-Hope would be having a meet and greet at Rolly’s, and that they wouldn’t be asking for vaccine passports, comments ranged from praise to vitriol. The PPC platform included anti-passport language.

While the group has double the members as Hope’s entire population, many of the comments were from locals saying they would either support Rolly’s Restaurant for not following the public health orders, or would boycott them for life.

In the end, the meet and greet was held outside during last Friday’s rainstorm, under a tent.

To get vaccinated in Hope, visit the COVID-19 Testing and Immunization Centre at the Fraser Canyon Hospital, at 1275 7th Ave. from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. They are accepting walk-ins for first and second doses, as time and supplies allow. Or you can book an appointment through Fraser Health.

READ MORE: Hope seeing lowest vaccination rate in Fraser Health

The case rate for the entire province from Aug. 21 to Sept. 19, 2021, showing the difference between vaccinated, partially vaccinated and fully vaccinated populations. (BC Centre for Disease Control)

The case rate for the entire province from Aug. 21 to Sept. 19, 2021, showing the difference between vaccinated, partially vaccinated and fully vaccinated populations. (BC Centre for Disease Control)


@CHWKcommunity
jessica.peters@hopestandard.com

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