B.C. surpasses 60,000 total COVID-19 cases, adds 9 deaths in last update of the week
A man wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 is silhouetted while walking on Ambleside Pier at sunset, in West Vancouver on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- B.C. has added 509 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 to its total, and nine deaths, health officials announced Friday in their last pandemic update of the week.
According to the joint written statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister of Adrian Dix, there are currently 4,604 active cases of the coronavirus in the province.
That total, which has been declining since a peak of about 10,000 in mid-December, includes 349 people who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 68 are in intensive care.
Since the pandemic began, B.C. has recorded 60,117 total cases and 1,047 deaths.
"We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic," Henry and Dix said in their statement.
The pair also announced a new COVID-19 outbreak at Hilltop House, a long-term care home in Squamish, and declared the end of outbreaks at Villa Cathay care home in Vancouver and Wingtat Game Bird Packers in Surrey.
There are currently 7,132 people under active public health monitoring because of exposures to known cases of the coronavirus, and 75,914 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
“People throughout British Columbia are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel," Henry and Dix said, celebrating the thousands of doses of vaccine that have been distributed to care home residents and workers and remote or at-risk First Nations so far.
That said, the pair lamented the impending delay in the delivery of Pfizer vaccines to B.C.
“We are disappointed to hear today there will be a short-term delay in the delivery of some of the Pfizer vaccines to British Columbia in the coming weeks as the company upgrades its production facility," they said. "We are working closely with the federal government to determine how this might impact our immunization rollout in the immediate term, and we will have more to share in the coming days."
Most of the new cases of COVID-19 confirmed Friday were in the Lower Mainland, with 260 in Fraser Health and 101 in Vancouver Coastal Health.
Interior Health added 86 cases to its total Friday, while Northern Health added 49 and Island Health added 13.
With every region of the province still seeing new infections, Henry and Dix highlighted the importance of remaining diligent in efforts to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
“We must never forget how far we have come by working together. Over the past months, we have all made sacrifices for the health of our families and communities, and now more than ever we need to hold the line and stop transmission of COVID-19 as our vaccination program ramps up.”