444 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths in B.C.

“Community transmission of COVID-19 continues to occur across our province, which means the risk remains high for all of us”

DR. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, on Tuesday announced 444 new cases of COVID-19, including five epi-linked cases, for a total of 47,510 cases in British Columbia.

There were 12 new COVID-19-related deaths. The total number of deaths in the province now stands at 777.

There are 9,481 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 357 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 84 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

A total of 36,094 people who tested positive have recovered.

There have been 79 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 256 new cases in the Fraser Health region, nine in the Island Health region, 78 in the Interior Health region, 22 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

Since the start of immunizations, 4,108 people have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in B.C., and on Tuesday, vaccine clinics got underway in the Island Health, Interior Health and Northern Health regions, as well as those in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal.

Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna have also provided guidance on how to safely transport the approved vaccines. This means that as deliveries increase in the coming weeks, the vaccine will increasingly be available in more locations.

There have been two new health-care facility outbreaks at the rehabilitation unit at Laurel Place and at a further acute-care unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital. There has also been a new community outbreak at Highline Farms in the Fraser Health region.

Henry and Dix warned: “Community transmission of COVID-19 continues to occur across our province, which means the risk remains high for all of us.

“Because community spread continues, even if you have been doing all you can to protect yourself and those around you, it is important to know the symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested if symptoms develop.

“In particular, if you develop a cough, a loss of sense of smell or taste, fever or chills, or have difficulty breathing, contact your health-care professional or call 811 to get tested right away. Testing sites will be open over the holidays.

“We also have to remember the virus spreads quickly, but shows up slowly, which is why asymptomatic testing doesn’t eliminate our risk and cannot be relied on to keep us safe.

“By staying local, avoiding all non-essential travel and using our layers of protection, we can reduce the potential for a surge in new cases two weeks from now and keep us on the path of a safer and healthier 2021 for everyone in B.C.”