Province extends COVID-19 restrictions into February

Photo is a screenshot from a Province of B.C. livestream.
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The provincial health authority has extended COVID-19 public health restrictions to Feb. 5.

There are 152 active cases of COVID-19 in the Island Health region, including 23 reported over the last 24 hours. That number includes 73 in the central island region, an increase of 18 since yesterday, along with 53 in the south and 23 in the north. 

“We’re actually bracing for a spike in cases in January, as a result of a variety of factors ranging from travel to just the idea that people got together in numbers bigger than Dr. Henry asked,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer for Island Health.

There were 769 COVID-19 tests done in the Island Health region in the past 24 hours.

There are eight people hospitalized with the virus and three in ICU in the Island Health region, according to the B.C. government’s COVID-19 dashboard. No new virus related deaths were confirmed in the health region. 

Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted living facility in Duncan on Jan. 7. One staff tested positive for the virus and is isolating at home.

B.C. recorded 761 new COVID-19 cases over the last 24-hours. There are 6,349 active cases of COVID-19 in the province — up six since yesterday. That number includes 372 people in hospital and 74 in critical care. There were eight deaths from COVID-19 since since yesterday, all seniors in long-term care homes. The province’s seven day rolling average for new cases is 575.

“In the last few days we have seen a slight increase in cases and our curve is trending upward. Now is our time to stay the course. We know what we have to do to bend that curve back down,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.

B.C. has vaccinated 41,064 people for COVID-19 so far, according to Henry. Nanaimo will receive 1,900 doses of Pfizer vaccine this week, according to Stanwick. He added there will be regular deliveries of vaccine doses to the area from now on.

The province announced two additional cases of UK variant were identified on Vancouver Island. They were household contacts of the first case and the provincial health authority does not believe there are any more contacts at risk.

There are 8,849 people under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to the virus, according to the provincial government.

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