698+689+759 new COVID-19 cases and 49 more deaths since Friday in B.C.

“No event or gathering is completely safe right now, because the virus continues to circulate in our communities”

PROVINCIAL Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix on Monday announced 2,146 new cases of COVID-19, including 16 epi-linked cases, for a total of 42,943 cases in British Columbia.

They said: “Today, we are reporting on three 24-hour periods. From December 11 to 12, we had 698 new cases. From December 12 to 13, we had 689 new cases and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 759 new cases.”

There have been 49 new COVID-19-related deaths, and the total number of deaths now stands at 647 in the province.

There are 10,039 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 359 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 87 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Currently, 11,177 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and a further 31,207 people who tested positive have recovered.

Henry and Dix added: “Since we last reported, we have had 300 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,474 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 29 in the Island Health region, 250 in the Interior Health region, 91 in the Northern Health region and two new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

“We have had three new health-care facility outbreaks at Jubilee Lodge, Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge and Villa Carital. The outbreaks at Amica White Rock, West Coast General Hospital, Fellburn Care Centre – PATH, Fleetwood Villa, The Residence in Mission, Windermere Care Centre and Tsawaayuus Rainbow Gardens are over.”

They said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a year like no other for all of us, doing things in ways we have never done before. This is the same for our holiday celebrations.

“We have to remember that every time we come together there is risk. No event or gathering is completely safe right now, because the virus continues to circulate in our communities.

“You may be doing all you can to protect your loved ones and yourself, and this is what we all need to be doing right now. Unfortunately, despite everything we are doing, there is still the potential that someone you spend time with may inadvertently bring the virus to the dinner table.

“Our homes don’t have the many layers of protection that we find in other places. In our homes we spend more time close together, we aren’t using masks and we don’t have the barriers and safe distances that we see elsewhere.

“When more people get a COVID-19 vaccine and the number of cases declines, we’ll be able to safely resume the activities that are paused right now.

“Following on the orders issued in early December, the new guidelines for low-intensity indoor group physical activity are now available. We ask that all businesses carefully review the guidelines to ensure all requirements are met before resuming operations.

“This holiday season, let’s make the special occasions special in other ways by connecting virtually instead. Let’s save our celebrations with loved ones until it is safe for us to get together once again.”