624 new cases in BC
"Today, we are reporting 624 new cases of COVID-19, including four epi-linked cases, for a total of 45,400 cases in British Columbia.
"There are 9,978 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There are 356 individuals currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 92 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
"Currently, 10,211 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and a further 33,589 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Since we last reported, we have had 106 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 406 new cases in the Fraser Health region, five in the Island Health region, 60 in the Interior Health region, 47 in the Northern Health region and no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
"Yesterday, 1,376 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were given to B.C. front-line health-care workers, for a total of 2,592 doses to date.
"The focus of our immunization program right now is to safely protect as many people as possible as efficiently as we can, but we have to remember that this is a global effort with many aspects often changing. As more vaccine arrives in the coming weeks, we all need to be patient and continue to follow public health orders to keep our communities safe.
"There have been 11 new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 724 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have had no new health-care facility outbreaks. There has been one new community outbreak at Rossdown Natural Foods.
"With the holiday season here, we are all looking to find creative and safe ways to connect with our families, friends and loved ones.
"For many, that means getting together virtually over a meal, watching holiday movie favourites or discovering new ways to connect safely from afar, such as a holiday bake off over video conference or hosting an online games night or scavenger hunt with friends.
"This holiday season is about finding ways to celebrate safely, knowing that what we are doing now will help ensure we can safely spend time with our loved ones in the new year.
"For young people throughout the province, today is the final day of school ahead of the holiday break. There are many ways for young people to enjoy this special time of year.
"Take a night-time walk in your neighbourhood to look at local light displays. Consider dropping off baked goods or homemade gifts or cards to neighbours or those in long-term care to brighten someone else's day.
"Many of us will also be shopping in our local communities for last-minute gifts. We encourage everyone to be patient and kind to your fellow shoppers and to use your layers of protection to keep you, and those around you, safe.
"This holiday season will be like no other. It will be a quieter time than what many of us are used to, but it is important to remember that we will get through this storm.
"The steps we take in the last days of 2020 are going to ensure a brighter, healthier and safer 2021 for all of us."