B.C. reports 12 more deaths due to COVID-19, pushing death toll to 808

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VICTORIA — British Columbia health officials say immunization is now underway for residents of long-term care homes.

In a joint statement on Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say 8,178 people have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine so far and it's now being administered in care facilities.

Twelve more people have died of COVID-19, pushing the province's death toll to 808.

There have been 582 new cases diagnosed, though the number of active infections dipped to 8,865 from above 9,100 on Wednesday.

The Fraser Health region remains hardest hit with 326 new cases, while case counts have also risen in the Interior and the North in recent weeks.

There are 341 people in hospital with the illness across B.C., including 78 in intensive care.

Henry and Dix once again urged people to connect virtually with friends and family during the holiday season.

B.C. has confirmed a total of 48,609 cases since the start of the pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 24, 2020.

The Canadian Press