B.C. reports more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

B.C. reports more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend
A person with a mask walks near the Bay Centre in downtown Victoria on Dec. 27, 2021. (CHEK News)

British Columbia health officials Monday reported 6,288 new COVID-19 cases — including 737 in the Island Health region — over a three-day period in their first update since Christmas Eve.

For reasons that were not made clear, health officials said in a press release issued to the media that the case counts provided are preliminary.

That said, the total number of cases in B.C. now stands at 241,946, according to the press release.

Daily case breakdown (preliminary)
Dec. 24-25: 2,552 new cases
Dec. 25-26: 2,023 new cases
Dec. 26-27: 1,713 new cases

B.C. health officials, again for reasons not specified, did not provide any data regarding active cases, as well as deaths, hospitalization, and vaccinations that may have occurred over the weekend. Information about Omicron cases was also not provided in the release.

“The Ministry of Health will return to regular reporting of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations, hospitalizations and deaths, and cases and hospitalizations by vaccination status on Wednesday, Dec. 29,” the press release states.

The 2,552 new cases recorded is a single-day high for B.C. and while there was a drop in cases the following day, it is worth noting that the figures provided are likely lower. That’s because provincial health officials have discouraged people from getting tested and many testing centres have reached capacity.

“I want to be very clear, do not go to a testing centre unless you have symptoms,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s provincial health officer during a press conference on Dec. 24. “We need to preserve the more accurate PCR testing for those who really need it. The testing centres are not for pre-travel screening, nor do they give you a green light to spend time with others.”

“Omicron is different now, if you have any symptoms you must assume you have COVID and take measures to avoid passing it on. If you are younger, and vaccinated and have no other risk factors, you don’t necessarily need a test, you just need to take these actions now,” Henry later said during the press conference.

READ MORE: Doctors skeptical of B.C.’s rapid test strategy, question Henry’s rationale

While there was no vaccination data provided in today’s release, the Ministry of Health told CHEK News in a statement Monday that approximately 2,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in British Columbia, with 321 of those being in Island Health.

B.C. announced early last month that it was receiving a “limited amount” of vaccine from the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company and that doses would be given to healthcare workers impacted by the province’s vaccine mandate.


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