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Eighteen more people die from COVID-19 in B.C., 617 new cases confirmed

Last Updated Jan 8, 2021 at 4:54 pm PST

FILE -- Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a COVID-19 briefing. (Courtesy Government of B.C./Flikr)
Summary

617 more people have tested positive for the virus in the province

Over 5,000 more people have received the vaccine, bringing the total number to 46,259

No new outbreaks have been declared at long-term care homes, healthcare facilities

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Eighteen more people have died of COVID -19 in B.C. as vaccination efforts continue and health officials urge people to follow orders against gathering and to avoid all non-essential travel.

In a joint statement Friday Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonenie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix reported 617 more people have tested positive for the virus in the province.

Over 5,000 more people have received the vaccine, bringing the total number to 46,259. The priority remains using all available doses as soon as possible, with a focus on people living and working in long-term care.

“Long-term care outbreaks have been at the forefront of our minds and our hearts since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day, more of our seniors and Elders who live in these homes, as well as the people who care for them, are protected with the vaccine,” the statement reads.

RELATED: ‘We are a long way’ from achieving herd immunity, says B.C.’s top doctor

No new outbreaks at long-term care homes or healthcare facilities were reported, and five have been declared over. Those facilities are; Amenida Senior Community in Surrey, North Peace Seniors Housing in Fort St. John, Rotary Manor in Dawson Creek, Royal Arch Masonic Home in Vancouver, and Tabor Home in Abbotsford.

Outbreaks remain active at 48 long-term care homes and in 10 hospitals.

Of the 358 people currently in hospital, 75 are in intensive care.

With new cases reported in all health regions, Dix and Henry are reminding British Columbians of the extension of public health orders.

“The provincial health officer’s orders on all gatherings and events will continue through to Feb. 5, 2021, at midnight. In addition to these orders, we also strongly recommend everyone limit their travel between communities and outside of the province unless it is absolutely essential for work or medical care,” the statement reads.

“Most British Columbians have been doing their part, and we know it is frustrating when a few people put so many others at risk. Despite this, it is important to know your sustained efforts are saving lives. It will get us that much closer to the days without COVID-19.”