Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry thanks an Island Health nurse after joining front-line staff for the first round of COVID-19 vaccine, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry thanks an Island Health nurse after joining front-line staff for the first round of COVID-19 vaccine, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)

COVID-19 cases hit 582 for Christmas Eve

No new health care outbreaks, but 12 deaths

B.C. heads into the Christmas weekend with 582 additional cases of COVID-19, with continuing high concentration of infection in the Fraser Health region.

There were 326 new diagnosed cases in Fraser Health for the 24 hours to Dec. 24, 107 in Vancouver Coastal, 71 in Interior Health, 68 in Northern Health and 10 on Vancouver Island.

Immunization of long-term care residents is underway, after a first phase of front-line health care workers in acute and seniors facilities. By Thursday, 8,178 people have received an initial dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. No new health care outbreaks were reported, and one declared over at Belvedere Care Centre in Coquitlam.

There were 12 additional deaths reported, for a total of 808 since the pandemic began. There are 8,865 active cases, with 341 people in hospital, 78 in intensive care.

“This Christmas and over the holiday weekend is the time to try the many new virtual activities that have been arranged this year – whether a church service, holiday choral concert or theatre performance,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement. “Take a walk with those in your household and spread some cheer with neighbourhood carolling, or drop off a warm meal or holiday treats to someone who may be away from their family this year.”

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 hotspots reach into Interor, North

RELATED: B.C. turning COVID-19 corner as Christmas arrives


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tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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