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4,000 British Columbians to get COVID-19 vaccine by end of next week: Premier

Last Updated Dec 8, 2020 at 10:54 pm PST

FILE - B.C. Premier John Horgan. (Courtesy B.C. Government, Flickr)
Summary

Premier John Horgan says about 4,000 high risk people in the province will be immunized by the end of next week

566 more people are infected and 16 more people have passed away due to COVID-19

B.C. has officially extended its state of emergency through to Dec. 22

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — About 4,000 high-risk people in the province will be immunized against COVID-19 by the end of next week, according to a tweet by Premier John Horgan.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday the country is expected to get its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week, but the vaccine has yet to be approved by Health Canada for use in Canada.

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In his tweet, Horgan added he will be joining Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix Wednesday “to update how an immunization program will help keep British Columbians healthy & safe.”

Meanwhile, in the joint statement from Henry and Dix, the province has recorded another 16 COVID-19 related deaths Tuesday, along with 566 new cases.

In total, B.C. has recorded a total of 38,718 cases which include two epi-linked cases. There are also a total of 543 deaths.

There are 9,315 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., 352 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and 74 of them are in intensive care.

The remaining people are self-isolating at home.

There are no additional health-care centre or community outbreaks to report since Monday.

In the joint statement, Henry and Dix added they’ve started to see an “encouraging” trend to bend the curve of the virus, although the number of new cases and people with a serious illness requiring care in hospital remains high.

“This is why the public health orders and restrictions remain in place and why we must continue to stay local and keep to our households through the holiday season,” Dix and Henry added.

“Let’s make the coming weeks our ‘winter break’ by breaking the chain of transmission in our province. We can still be festive and enjoy the season, but let’s ensure it is only with our immediate household or, if you live on your own, with one or two close contacts.”

In a statement from Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, the province continues to urge all British Columbians to follow the health officials’ advice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Most British Columbians continue to do the right thing, and our collective efforts are something to be proud of,” Farnworth said.

“Having said that, I can assure you this government will not hesitate to take further action against those who insist on putting the lives of others at risk. The orders are in place to keep people safe, and we will use those legal tools when necessary to ensure public safety.”

194 COVID-19 violation tickets have been issued between Aug. 21 and Dec. 4.

The violation tickets include:

  • 36 $2,300 tickets were handed to owners/organizers who violated the PHO’s order on gatherings and events,
  • 16 $2,300 violation tickets were handed to people to violated the PHO’s Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order,
  • 142 $230 tickets were issued to individuals who refused to comply with direction from law enforcement.

RELATED: Increasing COVID-19 fines for repeat offenders possible, suggests B.C. minister

And under the federal Quarantine Act, police have issued 70 violation tickets worth a combined total of $76,216.

B.C. has also officially extended its state of emergency through to Dec. 22.