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

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department as well as Sidney/North Saanich RCMP and BC Ambulance responded to a dryer fire on Orchard Avenue. (Sidney Volunteer Fire Department/Twitter)
Dryer fire doused in Sidney

Cause of Monday afternoon remains under investigation

(Black Press Media file photo)
Woman returned to West Shore on warrant after crashing in Oak Bay

Smashed car windows, stolen outboard, missing diamond round out police briefs

Father Marinaldo Batista, who served at Catholic parishes in Saanich and Sooke, died April 1 in Brazil from complications of COVID-19. (Facebook/St. Elizabeth Church)
Brazilian priest who served in Saanich and Sooke dies from COVID-19

Father Marinaldo Batista, 53, went to Brazil to visit his parents and died there April 1

My FED Farm, created by Food Eco District (FED), is aiming to help people affected by the COVID-19 grow food in their own back yard. The program is in collaboration with Sooke Region Food CHI, Transition Sooke and the Sooke Garden Club. (File - Black Press Media)
Sooke backyard food program returns

The Sooke Backyard Food Program is returning for a second year. Sooke… Continue reading

Colwood resident Maria Curcic shows off a one-of-a-kind hat that she created. Curcic is one of several artists that took part in the annual Stinking Fish Studio Tour. (Contributed - Maria Curcic)
Curtain closes on Stinking Fish Studio Tour

The Stinking Fish Studio Tour will live on through the lasting legacy… Continue reading

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

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

Most Read