A healthcare worker takes a swab from a driver at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility, in Vancouver, on Monday, December 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A healthcare worker takes a swab from a driver at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility, in Vancouver, on Monday, December 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records 2,211 new COVID cases, 45 deaths over New Year’s Eve long weekend

More than half the new cases were in Fraser Health

B.C. has reported 2,211 new COVID-19 cases and 45 deaths over the past four days, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a press briefing Monday (Jan. 4).

This was B.C.’s first COVID-19 briefing in 2021.

By day, there were 565 cases reported Friday, 607 cases reported Saturday, 500 cases Sunday, and 539 cases Monday, with 22 epi-linked cases. The weekend’s deaths bring the total COVID-19 death toll in B.C. to 946.

By region, the four days worth of cases break down to 1,301 in Fraser Health, 389 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 288 in Interior Health, 64 in Island Health and 169 in Northern Health.

There are 6,803 active cases of COVID-19 following the weekend. Currently, there are 351 people in hospital, of whom 76 are in critical care or ICU. There have been a total of 54,201 confirmed cases in B.C. since the pandemic began, of whom 45,229 have recovered. There are currently more than 8,700 people under active public health monitoring, excluding Northern Health due to data compilation issues.

There have been six new health-care facility outbreaks in B.C., while eight have been declared over. In total, there are no 52 outbreaks in long-term care homes and eight in acute care settings. The Portal Shelter in Chilliwack has a new community outbreak, while the outbreak at the Cove shelter in Surrey has been declared over.

Henry said that the province will provide a full update on the COVID vaccination schedule near the end of January.

“There are many months left to go on this,” Henry said, speaking of both the vaccination schedule and the overall battle against the virus.

Henry thanked British Columbians who have abided by the rules over the past nine months but said that people continuing to flout the rules have led to community transmission across B.C.

“Right now, I’m asking everybody to be extra vigilant. If you are feeling unwell at all, if you went out for that party… for that gathering with family members, stay away from others.”

Henry took questions about a nearly 50-person outbreak at a Surrey high school, many of which are said to have spread through physical education classes. Henry said that masks were not the answer to gym or other physical classes, because when they get moist they are no longer as helpful at containing droplets. Masks are currently mandatory in middle and high schools in “high traffic” areas.

“I do think there are things that need to be put in place” to keep physical education classes safe, she noted.

READ MORE: B.C. plans for COVID-19 ‘mass vaccination’ by March


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Terrace continues to have a high rate of COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people, according to this map which shows data from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9. (BC Centre for Disease Control)
Terrace, Nisga’a regions continue to have high rate of COVID-19 cases

Two more exposure notices posted for Terrace schools

This concept artwork from July 2020 shows the inland port planned for the former Skeena Cellulose mill site in Terrace. (Image courtesy Hatha Callis, Progressive Ventures Group)
Terrace city council approves inland port OCP amendments

Project still requires zoning bylaw, development permit to continue

This copper frog pendant was made by Jamika Aksidan, a young Nisga’a artist who was recently recognized with an award for her work. (Photo courtesy Nisga’a Museum)
Nisga’a youth artist wins award

Award includes $500, exhibition in Nisga’a Museum

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Most Read