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

Cheryl Dill visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Talking jobs, tourism and business with Cheryl Dill in Parksville

Podcast: COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on Vancouver Island

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

This photo shows crews battling the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Six fortunate to escape terrifying early-morning fire in Greater Victoria

Damage to the duplex extensive with one resident said to be ‘catatonic’ after escaping building

Most Read