Dr. Henry warns against parties as new year approaches and B.C. passes 50,000-case mark

Since Christmas Eve, B.C. has seen 2,206 new cases of COVID-19 and 74 further deaths from the disease.

While the figure presented on Tuesday by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is in the thousands, the daily new case counts reported were below average, only rising above 500 new cases in a single 24-hour period once on Christmas Day.

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The number of new cases reported on Tuesday was the lowest at 382.

A total of 50,815 British Columbians have now been diagnosed with COVID-19. Of those, 41,175 have recovered, 7,580 remain active and 882 have died.

In hospital, there are now 373 patients across B.C., including 80 in critical care.

More than 9,414 people are under active public health monitoring in the province, not including those monitored in the Northern Health region, according to Henry.

Of the new cases over the past five days, 378 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,375 were in Fraser Health, 44 in Vancouver Island Health, 238 in Interior Health and 171 in Northern Health.

The province continues to struggle with outbreaks in health-care settings, with 56 ongoing long-term care home outbreaks and eight in acute care outbreaks, including two further outbreaks in the Interior Health region — both in Vernon. On Dec. 27, an outbreak was declared at the Heritage Square long-term care home, and another on Dec. 28 at Noric House.

With New Year's Eve ahead, Henry reminded British Columbians that orders prohibiting events and limiting social gatherings to members of single households, remain in effect.

"We must do without the usual house parties or celebrations this year," she said. "We must focus on doing our part to ensure safe and good health for all of us."

Update from Interior Health

Interior Health says 10 of the 74 deaths reported on Tuesday were in the Interior Health region, which has now seen 28 total deaths due to COVID-19.

Three of those deaths were in the community, while four were associated with long-term care home outbreaks in Oliver, Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton.

The health region now has 623 active cases and 33 people in hospital, including six in critical care.

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