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

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Most Read