A healthcare worker puts on protective equipment at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

A healthcare worker puts on protective equipment at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel

2,146 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. since Friday, 49 deaths

Coronavirus vaccinations begin in B.C. Tuesday

B.C.’s new COVID-19 cases continued to run near their average of recent days over the weekend, with 2,146 new cases and 49 more deaths since Friday.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gave the latest coronavirus report Monday, after B.C.’s first vaccine doses arrived in B.C. Sunday night. The first doses will be administered starting Tuesday at two health care sites in the Fraser Health region, with health care workers dealing with infected patients the first priority.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control diagnosed 698 cases from Friday to Saturday, 689 from Saturday to Sunday and 759 from Sunday to Monday. Both the cases and deaths continued to be concentrated in the Fraser Health, which saw 1,474 of the new cases up to Dec. 14. There were 300 new cases in Vancouver Coastal, 250 in Interior Health, 91 in Northern Health and 29 on Vancouver Island.

Henry emphasized the need to avoid traditional holiday season gatherings in person as community transmission remains high, warning that people gathering for long periods in homes without masks or physical distance measures is much riskier than visiting a store with barriers and precautions in place.

“I know some who are having Zoom holiday meetings on big-screen TVs,” Henry said. “Some are still cooking big meals, but doing meal deliveries instead of inviting people over.”

RELATED: Canada’s first doses of Pfizer vaccine given in Ontario

RELATED: People who live alone have options for Christmas

Henry noted that virus transmission is happening more easily in winter conditions, and having sufficient vaccine administered to slow and stop community transmission is still several months away.

“My biggest fear right now is that we’re not going to do enough, we’re going to let off right now, and people are unnecessarily going to be exposed and some of them will get very ill, will end up in our hospitals or end up dying at this point where we are so, so close,” Henry said.

The latest results bring the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 to 359, 87 of them in critical care. Another 11,177 are in isolation and being monitored remotely after exposure or testing positive in all health authorities, and 31,207 people have recovered.

Six outbreaks have been declared over, including Fleetwood Villa in Surrey, Tsawaayus Rainbow Gardens in Port Alberni and West Coast General Hospital, also in Port Alberni. An outbreak at Fellburn Care Centre in Burnaby pathology unit has been eliminated but outbreak protocols are still in place in the long-term care area, and at Windermere Care Centre in Vancouver a second outbreak has been eliminated. That leaves 55 active outbreaks in health care units.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

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

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
B.C. ramping up screening for faster-spreading COVID-19 ‘variants of concern’

B.C. has sequenced about 11,000 COVID-positive samples since last February

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
B.C. teen ‘locked inside,’ battling to regain speech after severe brain bleed

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)

Most Read