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

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Most Read