B.C. passed the grim threshold of 1,000 dead from COVID-19 during the weekend, as 22 more people lost their lives to the virus that has spawned a global pandemic.
There have now been 1,010 individuals who have lost their lives to the virus in B.C. since the first death was recorded on March 9.
The good news is that the number of people actively battling infections – 5,220 – keeps falling, and is now at the lowest level since November 10, when 5,133 people were actively infected. The vast majority of those actively infected have been told to self-isolate at home, while 358 people have serious enough infections to be in hospital, with 72 of those being in intensive care units.
Health officials are actively monitoring another 7,313 people because those individuals have had known contact with people identified as carrying the virus.
The number of newly infected people is down, compared with a month ago, with 1,475 new cases detected during the weekend: 538 cases on January 9, 507 cases on January 10, and 430 cases detected in the past 24 hours.
Here is a breakdown of where the 1,475 new cases were identified:
• 287 people in Vancouver Coastal Health (19.4%);
• 736 people in Fraser Health (49.9%);
• 59 in Island Health (4%);
• 217 in Interior Health (14.7%);
• 173 in Northern Health (11.7%); and
• three new cases of in individuals who reside outside the province.
Nearly 87%, or 50,541 out of the 58,107 people who have been infected with COVID-19 in B.C. are considered recovered.
The government has been criticized for what some consider a slow roll-out of vaccines. Vaccinations have been ramping up, however, with 13,643 people vaccinated on the weekend, up until yesterday. That brings the total number of people vaccinated, up until yesterday, to 59,902. The province has so far received 71,200 doses of vaccine, with most of those doses being the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said she expected that health officials will use all of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that they have on hand by the end of the day, but that more doses are likely to arrive as soon as tomorrow.
She said outbreaks are now over at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, Chartwell Langley Gardens and the Lakeshore Care Centre in Coquitlam.
The 50 active outbreaks at healthcare facilities now include 1,364 residents and 669 staff, Henry said.
Health officials have detected a new outbreak at the Canim Lake First Nation in the Interior Health Region. The outbreak at the LNG Canada diversified transportation site in Kitimat has been declared to be over.
Restaurant owners have criticized Henry for providing short notice of an early required closure on New Year's Eve.
She responded to that criticism by saying that "communication around New Year's Eve was done for a very specific purpose," being to prevent overconsumption.
"I know this has been a hard year for the restaurant industry and I am committed to making sure we can do what we can to keep them open safely," she said.
She added that she meets regularly with restaurant-industry representatives and will be discussing with them ideas for how to help the sector.