A healthcare worker takes a swab from a driver at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility, in Vancouver, on Monday, December 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A healthcare worker takes a swab from a driver at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility, in Vancouver, on Monday, December 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records 2,211 new COVID cases, 45 deaths over New Year’s Eve long weekend

More than half the new cases were in Fraser Health

B.C. has reported 2,211 new COVID-19 cases and 45 deaths over the past four days, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a press briefing Monday (Jan. 4).

This was B.C.’s first COVID-19 briefing in 2021.

By day, there were 565 cases reported Friday, 607 cases reported Saturday, 500 cases Sunday, and 539 cases Monday, with 22 epi-linked cases. The weekend’s deaths bring the total COVID-19 death toll in B.C. to 946.

By region, the four days worth of cases break down to 1,301 in Fraser Health, 389 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 288 in Interior Health, 64 in Island Health and 169 in Northern Health.

There are 6,803 active cases of COVID-19 following the weekend. Currently, there are 351 people in hospital, of whom 76 are in critical care or ICU. There have been a total of 54,201 confirmed cases in B.C. since the pandemic began, of whom 45,229 have recovered. There are currently more than 8,700 people under active public health monitoring, excluding Northern Health due to data compilation issues.

There have been six new health-care facility outbreaks in B.C., while eight have been declared over. In total, there are no 52 outbreaks in long-term care homes and eight in acute care settings. The Portal Shelter in Chilliwack has a new community outbreak, while the outbreak at the Cove shelter in Surrey has been declared over.

Henry said that the province will provide a full update on the COVID vaccination schedule near the end of January.

“There are many months left to go on this,” Henry said, speaking of both the vaccination schedule and the overall battle against the virus.

Henry thanked British Columbians who have abided by the rules over the past nine months but said that people continuing to flout the rules have led to community transmission across B.C.

“Right now, I’m asking everybody to be extra vigilant. If you are feeling unwell at all, if you went out for that party… for that gathering with family members, stay away from others.”

Henry took questions about a nearly 50-person outbreak at a Surrey high school, many of which are said to have spread through physical education classes. Henry said that masks were not the answer to gym or other physical classes, because when they get moist they are no longer as helpful at containing droplets. Masks are currently mandatory in middle and high schools in “high traffic” areas.

“I do think there are things that need to be put in place” to keep physical education classes safe, she noted.

READ MORE: B.C. plans for COVID-19 ‘mass vaccination’ by March


@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

Victoria police are seeking public assistance in identifying a suspect and witness of a Dec. 4 sexual assault in Esquimalt. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police seeking suspect, witness of sexual assault of Esquimalt teen

Teen sexually assaulted Dec. 4 after departing number 15 bus

Patrick MacMullan won $28,000 playing Toto. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Greater Victoria man wins $28,000 while watching football

Winning ticket purchased at Colwood convenience store

(Pixabay photo)
Emergency repairs underway on Phillips Road in Sooke

Sewage may have entered DeMamiel Creek and Sooke River

Staff at Artemis Place Secondary were shocked to find that one of the student-built greenhouses on the campus was stolen overnight on Jan. 11. (Artemis Place Society/Facebook)
Saanich school hopes to catch greenhouse thief red-handed

Student-built greenhouses stolen from Artemis Place Secondary on Jan. 11

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government announces creation of B.C.’s first anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Smaller egg farmers find themselves in a David and Goliath situation when it comes to major producers and chain-grocery store shelf space. (Citizen file)
Vancouver Island egg producer cries foul over ‘Island’ label

Egg farmer frustrated with regulations allowing mainland-laid eggs to be labelled ‘Island’

Police and fire crews at work at a fire scene at Mount Prevost School (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Classes cancelled by fire at a Duncan-area school for the second time this week

Fire this morning at Duncan area middle school follows Monday blaze at nearby elementary

Most Read