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B.C. confirms 683 new cases of COVID-19, for total of 51,983

There are 7,803 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C.
Dr. Bonnie Henry gives COVID-19 update for B.C. Screengrab.

There are now 51,983 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C. after health officials announced 683 new cases Thursday.

Two of the new cases are epi-linked.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reports that there have been 105 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region,  447 in the Fraser Health region, 11 in the Island Health region, 64 in the Interior Health region, 36 in the Northern Health Region and no new cases from people who reside outside of Canada.

There have been three new health-care facility outbreaks and two have been declared over. There are now 52 outbreaks in long-term care facilities and nine in acute care units. 

There have been no new community outbreaks.

Since the start of immunizations, 17,510 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in B.C.

There have been eight new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 901 deaths in British Columbia.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 374 individuals are hospitalized, 76 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation. Currently, 9,364 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

There are 7,803 active cases of COVID-19 and 42,129 people who tested positive have recovered.

Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities’ websites.

A note on New Year's Eve

“We want 2021 to be our year of success with COVID-19. This means taking a step back and keeping our focus on what is most important right now: the health and safety of everyone in our province," said Henry.

“Especially in light of the U.K. variant now appearing in B.C., we must do all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

“To best position us as we go into 2021, an amendment to provincial health officer (PHO) orders has been put in place to reduce the hours that alcohol may be sold or served on New Year’s Eve. The selling and serving of alcohol must cease between 8 p.m. (Pacific time) on Dec. 31, 2020, and 9 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2021. As before, liquor sales for onsite consumption must cease at 10 p.m. on all other dates.

“This order applies to any establishment that sells or serves alcohol, including bars, restaurants, pubs, liquor stores or grocery stores.

“Unless a full meal service is provided, premises that are licensed to serve liquor must close between 9 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2020, and 9 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2021.

“We know alcohol can impair people’s judgment and their ability to effectively use the layers of protection required to keep all of us safe. This order, while temporary, will ensure New Year’s Eve leads to a safe new year for everyone.

“We recognize this order creates an added strain on our already challenged restaurant and food services sector that has been working hard to ensure restaurants are safe. However, this is the time to do all we can to keep our wall strong. We remain confident that having a meal with your household contacts in a restaurant in B.C. is safe, and we encourage people to continue to visit their local restaurants to eat in or take away on New Year’s Eve."