FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

B.C. reports 74 COVID deaths over Christmas holiday break; total number of cases tops 50,000

The total number of COVID deaths in B.C. has reached 882

B.C. has reported 2,206 new COVID-19 cases and 74 deaths over the past five days, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a press briefing Tuesday (Dec. 29).

This was the first update to B.C.’s coronavirus numbers since Thursday (Christmas Eve), when 582 new cases were reported.

By day, there were 512 cases reported Friday, 447 cases reported Saturday, 424 cases Sunday, 441 cases Monday and 382 Tuesday, with 25 epi-linked cases. The weekend’s deaths bring the total COVID-19 death toll in B.C. to 882.

READ MORE: B.C. COVID-19 vaccinations reach nearly 12,000 people

By region, the five days worth of cases break down to 1,375 in Fraser Health, 378 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 238 in Interior Health, 44 in Island Health and 171 in Northern Health.

There are 7,580 active cases of COVID-19 following the weekend. Currently, there are 373 people in hospital, of whom 80 are in critical care or ICU. There have been a total of 50,815 confirmed cases in B.C. since the pandemic began, of whom 41,175 have recovered. There are currently 9,414 people under active public health monitoring, excluding Northern Health due to data compilation issues.

Henry said that the case of the U.K. variant of the novel coronavirus is currently quarantining, and those they live with have been tested. They were identified via whole genome sequencing.

“We know that this variant does not seem to cause more severe illness,” Henry said, nor is it expected to affect test or vaccine efficacy.

“But it does seem in the U.K. that it causes the virus to be more infectious.”

She said that while it does not change current public health advice, additional measures could be required if the U.K. variant pushes B.C.’s daily cases back up to the highs seen earlier this fall.

READ MORE: B.C. has its first confirmed case of COVID-19 variant from the U.K.

Henry urged British Columbians to avoid non-essential travel, especially outside of the country but even within the province. She also looked ahead to New Year’s Eve, where in past years large crowds have gathered both on the streets and indoors.

“We must do this without the usual house parties or celebrations this year,” she said.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said that while many would be happy to see 2020 leave, British Columbians needed to make sure not to bring more cases into the upcoming year.

“This week, as in past weeks, we’re asking people to dig in,” Dix said.


@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

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Fun in Penticton is being promoted through banners going up along Main and Westminster. (Suzanne White Western News)
Banners go up in downtown celebrating fun in Penticton

From beach or biking time to dining or shopping, the banners promote things to do

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Municipal crews are clearing sand from streets in Summerland. The street sweeping is expected to be completed by early June. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland crews clearing sand from streets

Work expected to be completed by early June

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

(Kingfisher Boats photo)
In the market for a boat in the North Okanagan? Be prepared to wait

Vernon’s Kingfisher Boats is out of 2021 models, with many 2022 models already pre-sold

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

Most Read