British Columbia·Video

B.C. records 6,288 new COVID-19 cases over 3 days as Omicron drives up numbers

B.C. has confirmed 6,288 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days as the province continues to see a surge of cases driven by the Omicron variant.

Province says updates on numbers of deaths, hospitalizations, and vaccinations will be provided on Dec. 29

People walk down a street in downtown Vancouver on Dec. 17. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. has confirmed 6,288 new cases of COVID-19 over the last three days as the province continues to see a surge of cases driven by the Omicron variant.

In a statement, the provincial government said 2,552 cases were identified from Friday to Saturday, 2,023 from Saturday to Sunday and 1,713 from Sunday to Monday.

The number of cases identified from Friday to Saturday marks an all-time record for the highest number of daily cases in the province, the fifth straight day that record was broken in B.C.

Information on deaths, hospitalizations, and vaccinations was not provided by the province Monday afternoon.

The province's statement says more detailed information will be reported again on Wednesday. The statement also noted that the numbers provided on Monday are preliminary.

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B.C.’s provincial health officer gave the dire warning as new restrictions take effect to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

A series of public health measures to try to contain the latest wave of infections remains in place. Bars, nightclubs, gyms and fitness centres must stay closed, all indoor organized gatherings must be cancelled, and six-person table limits are still in place at restaurants as the Omicron variant spreads like wildfire.

Before the holidays, B.C. announced an expansion of the rapid testing program — though it did not include plans to provide tests widely to the general public. The province has been criticized for not expanding testing, with experts saying the full spread of infections is unknown with testing at full capacity.

 

The province has also accelerated its vaccine booster plan, now aiming to finish providing boosters by the end of March instead of May as originally planned.

Health authorities with the highest population densities continue to lead the surge in new cases.

The regional breakdown of new cases over the weekend is as follows: 

  • 3,181 new cases in Fraser Health.
  • 1,482 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health.
  • 737 new cases in Island Health.
  • 713 new cases in Interior Health.
  • 174 new cases in Northern Health.
  • There is one new case among people who reside outside of Canada.

Testing sites closed due to extreme cold

Health authorities in the Lower Mainland announced they would be closing testing sites due to extreme cold in the region over the weekend.

On Monday, Fraser Health announced testing and vaccination sites at the B.C. Institute of Technology in Burnaby and near Coquitlam Central Station would have reduced services due to the cold weather.

Those with testing appointments were provided service until 3 p.m. PT, the health authority said on Twitter, and those with vaccination appointments were redirected to their Surrey North site.

Vancouver Coastal Health also announced on Saturday its testing site at the Vancouver International Airport was closed due to the weather. The St. Vincent testing site at Cambie Street also closed on Friday. Both sites remain closed, according to the province's COVID-19 collection centre dashboard

Those wanting to get a test at YVR are being redirected to testing centres at the University of B.C. or at ICBC in North Vancouver. 

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