What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Dec. 29

·3 min read

THE LATEST:

  • Health officials in B.C. announced 74 new COVID-19 related deaths Tuesday.

  • The five-day total for new COVID-19 cases in B.C. is 2,206.

  • 373 people are in hospital, with 80 in intensive care.

  • 882 people in B.C. have died of the disease since the pandemic began.

  • 11,930 people have now received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

After a five-day break during which no COVID-19 data was released by the province, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Tuesday announced a total of 2,206 new cases of COVID-19 and 74 more deaths.

There are currently 373 people in hospital, with 80 in intensive care. B.C. has 7,580 active cases of the novel coronavirus.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also said that over 11,930 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have be administered across all health regions.

She said doses of the Moderna vaccine will also be arriving in the province Tuesday or Wednesday with all logistics, training and supplies in place to administer the vaccine for communities in the coming days.

Henry also provided an update about the new variant of the virus that was detected in B.C. on Dec. 19 in a Vancouver Island resident who recently arrived on a flight from the United Kingdom.

She said the B.C. CDC has been looking back at anyone who tested positive in the recent weeks to see if they are carrying the variant.

"[The variant] does not cause more illness, nor does it affect tests or vaccines," Henry explained. "It does seem though, that in the U.K. it causes the virus to be more infectious."

B.C. nurses call out vaccine queue jumpers

Meanwhile, the B.C. Nurses' Union is criticizing B.C.'s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out program just two weeks after the provincial immunization campaign began.

BCNU president Christine Sorensen told CBC News that some administrators have been jumping the queue and receiving the vaccine before front-line health-care staff. Sorensen said unexplained delays and bureaucracy have hampered efforts to protect nurses.

On Monday, Fraser Health declared two new COVID-19 outbreaks at seniors' care facilities in the Lower Mainland.

Five residents and two staff members have tested positive for the virus at Rideau Retirement Residence in Burnaby, while two staff members tested positive at Surrey's Brookside Lodge. Both locations are owned and operated by Sienna Senior Living.

Also on Monday, Interior Health declared an outbreak at Noric House in Vernon after one staff member and five residents tested positive for COVID-19. One day earlier, an outbreak was declared at Vernon's Heritage Square after six residents of the long-term care wing and four staff members tested positive.

It will be several weeks before new case data reflects whether any social gatherings, travel or shopping events over the holiday season led to increased transmission and a spike in cases.

READ MORE:

What's happening elsewhere in Canada

On Monday, Canada's COVID-19 death toll hit 15,121, according to the Health Canada dashboard.

As of 6 p.m. PT Monday, Canada's total case count was to 555,207, with 74,113 of those considered active.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.

  • Cough.

  • Tiredness.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Loss of taste or smell.

  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.

  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.