B.C. reports 9,332 new COVID cases in first update of 2022

CHEK
In their first update of 2022, British Columbia health officials in a statement to the media Monday reported 9,332 new COVID-19 cases over a three-day period. (CHEK News)

In their first update of 2022, British Columbia health officials in a statement to the media Monday reported 9,332 new COVID-19 cases over a three-day period.

Of the new cases, 1,117 were in Island Health.

There were also 4,859 cases reported in Fraser Health, 1,797 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,185 cases in Interior Health, and 374 cases in Northern Health.

Daily case breakdown
Dec. 31 to Jan. 1, 2022: 4,033 new cases
Jan. 1 to Jan. 2: 3,069 new cases
Jan. 2 to Jan. 3: 2,230 new cases

The number of confirmed cases in B.C. is now at 264,181.

Health officials in the release stated that today’s case counts are preliminary and the figures are also not a true reflection of transmission within the province as there have been widespread delays in testing and access to testing has been limited if not impossible for some.

Monday’s statement also contained absolutely no other new data such as information about active cases, vaccinations, hospitalizations and deaths. Data about cases and hospitalizations by vaccination status was also not provided.

The Ministry of Health told CHEK News in a statement that the figures aren’t being provided because “reporting’s been limited.”

Island Health

As of Dec. 31, there were 53 people in hospital, 12 of whom are in critical care, within the Island Health region, according to the BCCDC dashboard.

The Island Health region had 17,834 confirmed cases, 143 deaths, 787 hospitalizations and 15,096 recoveries as of Dec. 31.

A total of 516,113 tests have been performed and 1,582,569 doses of vaccine have been administered in the region, as of the BCCDC dashboard’s last update on Dec. 31. This includes 722,477 first doses, 680,364 second doses and 179,728 other doses.

It’s unclear exactly how many active cases are on Vancouver Island because Island Health’s dashboard, which displays active case information, has not been updated since Dec. 24.

At that time the health authority said there were 952 active cases — a figure likely far higher — with 156 active cases in North Island, 242 in Central Island and 554 in South Island.

However, provincial health officials said in their update on Dec. 31 that active cases for the region were at 2,336 — a figure that is likely much higher.

Canada and the U.S.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health warned Monday that “most people” in the province will likely become infected with COVID-19 due to its rapid spread.

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province’s top doctor, made the remarks shortly after telling reporters that active case counts have jumped from 30 to nearly 3,000 in about two weeks, overwhelming public health’s capacity for case investigation.

“Identifying every case and contact, that is no longer possible, and our objective right now is to slow the inevitable spread,” Dr. Janice Fitzgerald told reporters in St. John’s.

“The reality of this virus is that it is so infectious, most people will acquire it.”

Newfoundland and Labrador reported 519 new cases of COVID-19, and one death, the province’s 20th from the virus, on Monday.

Quebec reported 14,188 new cases on Monday while Ontario recorded 13,807 new infections.

Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting 1,020 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, and a test positivity rate of 10 per cent.

Prince Edward Island reported a record 169 new cases Monday, with most of them related to travel or in close contacts of previous cases.

Meanwhile, officials in Oregon warned that skyrocketing infections could force them to move classes online. The state reported more than 9,700 new cases of COVID-19 from the holiday weekend on Monday and smashed a previous record for weekly coronavirus cases with an average of about 2,400 new cases per day.

“Student access to in-person instruction is under serious threat,” the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority said Monday.

Arizona health officials on Monday reported 14,192 new cases, the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a year. It is the most ever tallied in a day in Arizona except for Jan. 3, 2020, when more than 17,000 cases were counted.

In Mississippi, hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to rise rapidly as new cases proliferate. The state Health Department reported that 695 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were hospitalized Sunday. That is up from 265 hospitalized two weeks earlier, on Dec. 19.

Mississippi also reported Monday that 17,525 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the state from Thursday through Sunday.

Elsewhere, cruise ship activity has been temporarily suspended along Brazil’s shores until Jan. 21 due to the spread of the coronavirus’ Omicron variant, according to a statement the federal government published Monday night.

The decision came after a recommendation from the nation’s health regulator, which said in a separate statement Monday night that it took into account the “spiralling increase of COVID-19 cases on board ships in recent days, which indicates a radical change in the epidemiological scenario.”

The agency highlighted an “accentuated explosion” starting Dec. 26, with almost 800 cases detected on cruise ships in just nine days — 25 times the total seen over the prior 55 days and likely stemming from the spread of the Omicron variant, it said.

With files from the Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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