British Columbia

B.C. announces 485 new cases, 4 more lives lost to COVID-19

B.C. health officials announced 485 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths on Wednesday.

There are currently 4,299 active cases in the province

A server on a Vancouver restaurant patio brings customers a drink during a moment of January sun. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

B.C. health officials announced 485 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths on Wednesday.

In a written statement, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry noted there are 303 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 74 in intensive care.

Since the pandemic began, a total of 1,172 people in the province have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

There are currently 4,299 active cases of the virus in B.C., with public health monitoring 6,520 people who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. More than 58,778 people who tested positive have since recovered.

So far, 124,365 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., 4,160 of which are second doses. 

B.C. recorded one new health-care facility outbreak at Glenwood Seniors Community. The outbreak at Villa Cathay has been declared over. A new outbreak has been declared at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre.

Earlier on Wednesday, Interior Health declared a COVID-19 cluster in the Fernie region. Clusters are declared when problematic COVID-19 transmission is occurring throughout a community.

Since the start of January, 81 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the region and 63 cases are currently active.

"There is no single location or event tied to the majority of cases; they primarily appear to be associated with local social gatherings," read a statement from the health authority.

"These events are a significant concern and all residents are reminded to refrain from contact outside your immediate household and seek COVID-19 testing at the first sign of symptoms."

One year since first case recorded in B.C.

Wednesday marked one year since the first COVID-19 case was detected in B.C.

"One year ago today, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in our province. Since that day, the impact has been severe; people have become seriously ill and died, our lives have been disrupted and health-care workers everywhere have faced challenges at a scale never experienced before," read the statement from the province.

"The more people you see and the more places you go, the higher the risk is to you and those around you, which is why gatherings of any size are on pause right now. If you are invited over to spend time with a friend, choose to go outside for a walk instead. And, just as important, if you are thinking about travelling beyond your community for anything other than what is essential for work or medical care, stay home."

Addressing the media Wednesday afternoon, Premier John Horgan said the vast majority of British Columbians are taking the proper measures to prevent the spread of the virus, but spoke to what he said is a small group of people who are not.

"We are doing everything we can to keep people safe. You too have an obligation," said Horgan.

The premier also said the government was prepared to crack down on non-essential travellers who are not following B.C. COVID-19 protocols:

"You better behave appropriately … or we'll come down on you like a ton of bricks."




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