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

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

JJ Belanger is running for mayor in Tofino’s March 6 byelection. (Photo courtesy of JJ Belanger)
Belanger enters Tofino’s mayoralty race

Belanger is former chair of Tourism Tofino and current general manager of Crystal Cove Beach Resort.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read