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 sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Wildlife biologist and educator Joanne Siderius was last year’s winner of the Suzy Hamilton Legacy Award for women environmentalists in the West Kootenay. Photo: Submitted
Hunter Jin shows off some homemade rice wraps. Donations poured into the Nelson Community Food Centre during the holidays. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Community Food Centre brings in $150k during holiday fundraising

The centre says the money will help address significant need in the city

Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

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

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

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

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

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read