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 regional district’s Penticton offices. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Building and bylaw service up in 2020 for RDOS

More complaints were resolved and building permits issued in 2020 than 2019

The next Canadian census will be held in May, 2021. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is urging its residents to complete the census form online. (Statistics Canada)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen urges participation in census

National census will be held in May, 2021 with COVID-19 protocols in place

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

(Stock photo)
EDITORIAL: COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect us all

Canada has recorded more than 700,000 confirmed cases of pandemic

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Most Read