Final COVID-19 update of the week brings B.C. to 66,779 total cases, 1,189 deaths
VANCOUVER -- Health officials in British Columbia announced 514 new cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths from the disease in their final coronavirus update of the week.
The province has now recorded a total of 66,779 infections and 1,189 related fatalities since the start of the pandemic, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday.
B.C.'s number of active infections increased by about 100 cases, to 4,557. That includes 292 patients in hospital, 74 of whom are in intensive care.
The live briefing was the first from Henry and B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix since the province marked the anniversary of its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Jan. 27, 2020. Henry took a moment to thank British Columbians for the help they've offered each other so far.
"Through these months we've learned that crises such as this pandemic can bring out both the worst, and, thankfully, the best in our human nature," she said.
"It's times like this when altruism is so important, and we have seen so much of that in this past year – people dropping off food for neighbours, caring for others' children, looking out for each other … these are things that have made a difference to us in our communities and our families across the province"
Health officials announced one new outbreak at the Holy Family Hospital long-term care home, while three others have ended – including the devastating outbreak at Little Mountain Place that claimed 41 lives.
"I know the tremendous sense of relief that will be for the family members, the care providers and the communities who have watched and have had loved ones involved in those outbreaks," Henry said.
There are now 25 active outbreaks in long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities involving 926 residents and 520 staff.
Health officials also confirmed Friday that everyone living or working at long-term care homes across the province has now been offered a COVID-19 vaccine.
Henry did not specify how many of them opted to be receive the shot, but said there was "very high uptake," and that more details would be shared on Feb. 8.
The news was not all positive on the vaccine front, however. After previously learning B.C. would not be receiving any doses of vaccine this week, and reduced deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine over the next two weeks, Henry revealed Friday that the province is also expecting a decreased number of Moderna vaccine doses next week.
She said the province is anticipating about 20 per cent fewer doses than because of "difficulties at the Moderna processing plant."
"Of course, this is disappointing for all of us. We are working with what we have available to best address those most at risk and those hotspots and outbreaks that are happening in communities around the province" she said.
Some 124,979 people have now received the vaccine in B.C., and 4,262 have been given their second dose.
New cases of the COVID-19 variants have also been detected. Officials said B.C. has now identified seven cases of the U.K. variant and four of the South African variant. Most concerning, Henry said, are three cases involving people who are not "associated with travel."
Of the almost 67,000 total cases identified so far, approximately 89 per cent – or 59,551 people – have recovered so far.