A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 carries an umbrella while walking down steps on the Simon Fraser University campus, as heavy snow falls in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, December 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A woman wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 carries an umbrella while walking down steps on the Simon Fraser University campus, as heavy snow falls in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, December 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

COVID death toll nears 800 in B.C.; 5,600 people have received first dose of vaccine

Nineteen people died of the virus in the past 24 hours

B.C. is reporting 518 new cases and 19 deaths due to COVID-19, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a press conference Wednesday (Dec. 23).

There have now been a total of 48,027 confirmed cases of the virus in B.C., and 796 deaths. There are currently 9137 active cases; 348 people are in hospital, of whom 80 are in critical care or ICU. There are 9,689 people under daily active health monitoring, although that figure does not include Northern Health because of a data compiling issue.

Of the new cases, there were 97 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 332 in Fraser Health, 49 in Interior Health, 9 in Island Health and 21 in Northern Health.

There are two new health care outbreaks and two others that have ended; in total there are 55 outbreaks in long-term care and six in acute care units.

Across B.C., 5,603 people have received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, including Henry.

“I know the restrictions and orders are difficult,” Henry said, but noted that the latest modelling shows that British Columbians’ efforts are helping.

READ MORE: B.C. turning a corner on COVID-19 as Christmas arrives

READ MORE: Some British Columbians receive recovery benefit; 800K applications approved

READ MORE: Health Canada approves Moderna COVID vaccine; 1.2M doses of two vaccines expected by Jan. 31


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