A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-POOL, Jeff J Mitchell

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-POOL, Jeff J Mitchell

Social gathering, events to remain banned in B.C. as daily COVID-19 cases stay high

Extension comes as B.C. sees 761 new infections, eight additional deaths due to the novel coronavirus

B.C. health officials say the current bans on social gatherings and restrictions on athletics will be extended another four weeks, until Feb. 5, as the province continues to see high daily case totals of new COVID-19 cases.

“Our curve is trending upwards,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a news conference Thursday (Jan. 7).

In the past 24 hours, the province recorded a record-high number of cases in about one month’s time with 761 new infections of the novel coronavirus, as well as eight additional deaths.

As most of the 6,349 active cases recover in their homes, hospitalizations remain near record-highs at 372 people in hospital, 74 of whom are in critical or intensive care.

There are 51 active outbreaks in long term care and acute care facilities.

While expected by many that the health orders in effect over the holiday break would be extended, Henry said it is crucial that the province “stay the course” until transmission and contraction of the respiratory illness decreases.

“We don’t want to keep these restrictions a second longer than we have to,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said, reiterating the pair’s continued calls to follow the rules, which include no gatherings outside of your direct household.

ALSO READ: Kelowna church vows to keep congregating, fight fine after breaking gathering ban

ALSO READ: B.C. man spends Christmas in jail after disobeying gathering ban 12 times in 3 months

Since about a year ago, 56,015 people have tested positive for the virus in B.C.

B.C. officials continue to get vaccinations into the arms of frontline health workers and elderly people in long term care homes. Henry confirmed that 41,064 British Columbians have received their first of two doses as of Thursday.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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