British Columbia

B.C. breaks daily case record once again with 4,383 new cases of COVID-19

B.C. health officials announced 4,383 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Thursday. It is the second straight day of record-breaking daily case numbers in the province.

There are 211 people in hospital with the disease, 66 of whom are in intensive care

People line up outside a COVID-19 testing site in downtown Vancouver on Monday. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 4,383 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Thursday. It is the second straight day of record-breaking daily case numbers in the province.

In a written statement, the province said there are 17,357 active cases of people infected with the illness in B.C.

A total of 211 people are in hospital, including 66 in intensive care. 

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 8.2 per cent from last Thursday, when 195 people were in hospital with the disease and down by about 29.6 per cent from a month ago when 300 people were in hospital.

 

The number of patients in intensive care is down by 12 per cent from 75 a week ago and by 36.5 per cent from a month ago when 104 people were in the ICU.

The provincial death toll from the disease is now 2,420 out of 251,054 confirmed cases to date.

 

The regional breakdown of new cases is as follows:

  • 2,319 new cases in Fraser Health, which has 7,940 total active cases and 777 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.
  • 977 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, which has 6,424 total active cases and 1,333 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.
  • 501 new cases in Interior Health, which has 1,713 total active cases and 152 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.
  • 460 new cases in Island Health, which has 856 total active cases and 548 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.
  • 122 new cases in Northern Health, which has 422 total active cases and 13 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.
  • There are four new cases among people who reside outside Canada.

 

There are 13 active outbreaks at long-term care, acute care, and assisted living facilities, with five new outbreaks declared at long-term care facilities in the Fraser Health authority. The province has also declared an outbreak at Mission Memorial Hospital.

Acute care outbreaks include:

  • Mission Memorial Hospital
  • Lions Gate Hospital

 

As of Thursday, 91.9 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 89.1 per cent a second dose, and 19.1 per cent a third dose.

When taking into account those five and older, 88 per cent of people in B.C. had received a first shot and 82.9 per cent a second dose.

From Dec. 22-28, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 15.8 per cent of cases and from Dec. 15-28, they accounted for 54.7 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province.

So far, 9.36 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., including 4.13 million second doses.

Province delays return to school

B.C. is delaying the return to school for most K-12 students until Jan. 10, the province announced Wednesday.

Henry said schools will open as planned for children of essential workers and those with special needs on Jan. 3 or 4.

"Parents are encouraged to reach out to their school principal to make those arrangements," Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside said. 

 

The announcement comes as cases of the Omicron variant rise in B.C. and contact tracing and testing reached maximum capacity over the holidays.

Whiteside said a staggered approach will allow public health and education officials to assess the impact of the Omicron variant and plan for enhanced safety measures at schools. 

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