Heavy snow falls as a man wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks on the Simon Fraser University campus, in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, December 21, 2020. Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning on the first day of winter with up to 5cm of snow expected for Metro Vancouver and up to 20cm for other areas of the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Heavy snow falls as a man wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks on the Simon Fraser University campus, in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, December 21, 2020. Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning on the first day of winter with up to 5cm of snow expected for Metro Vancouver and up to 20cm for other areas of the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. records 41 COVID deaths and 1,667 new cases over the weekend

More than 3,600 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

There have been 1,667 new cases and 41 COVID-19 deaths over the weekend, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said during a briefing on Monday (Dec. 21).

By day, there were 652 cases reported Saturday, 486 cases Sunday and 529 cases Monday, with 14 epi-linked cases. The weekend’s deaths bring the total COVID-19 death toll in B.C. to 765.

By region, the weekend’s cases break down to 1,084 in Fraser Health, 283 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 189 in Interior Health, 21 in Island Health and 90 in Northern Health.

There are 9,718 active cases of COVID-19 following the weekend. Currently, there are 341 people in hospital, of whom 80 are in critical care or ICU. There have been a total of 47,057 confirmed cases in B.C. since the pandemic began. There are more than 9,600 people under active public health monitoring. There have been five new outbreaks in health-care facilities, while five others have ended, and two community outbreaks at Coastal GasLink sites. There are a total of 55 health care outbreaks in B.C.

Last week, at least 3,644 people – largely long-term care workers in the Lower Mainland – have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Henry said that vaccine doses have now arrived in all other health regions in B.C.

“Last week was a great kick off for immunizations programs across the province,” she said, noting that more details on who can get the vaccine will come over the next weeks and months.

“The target area is to protect those most at risk, at the start.”

There are currently nine sites across B.C. where the Pfizer vaccine has been delivered, mostly in the Lower Mainland but with several in Island Health, Northern Health and Interior Health. Pfizer has required the vaccine, which must be transported in ultra-cold freezers at negative 80 C, to be given at the same location it is delivered to, making vaccinating long-term care residents difficult.

Henry said she hopes to have all long-term care workers and residents in B.C. vaccinated “well before March.”

READ MORE: ‘Respond with empathy’: B.C. expert breaks down COVID vaccine myths, reasons for hesitancy

Henry said that the coronavirus variant that has been found in the U.K. has not been found in Canada, and noted that the travel ban put in place Sunday night will give health officials here a chance to get to grips with the mutation. She said that so far, it’s believed that the current vaccines will continue to work on the new mutation.

“We are starting to see a levelling of our COVID-19 curve in B.C…. but at a very high level,” she warned. “We continue to see hundreds of people each day with confirmed cases.”


@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

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Nechako Figure Skating Club Canskate members Aubrie Sholer (from left), Renee Janzen, Alina Borno, Presley Stuckless, Sophia Reid and Layla Whittaker skate during a recent practice at the Vanderhoof Arena. (Photo submitted)
Nechako Figure Skating Club awarded local sport relief funds

“It will definitely help us recover from this and help us go on for another year.”

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

New three-storey seniors housing complex being builton the corner of Church Avenue and Victoria Street in Vanderhoof. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Housing availability a top priority for district: mayor

In Vanderhoof, 146 properties sold in 2020 worth $42.7 million

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Most Read