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COVID-19 on the rise in B.C. kids: Henry

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:39 PST, Mon January 18, 2021

In the last month there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases in young people, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed today.

She said most are related to household and small group transmission, and all children who were admitted to intensive care have now recovered. 

In response to a question, she confirmed that public health orders are legal orders. However, there continues to be no public health order requiring people not to travel.

“We have strongly recommended that people not travel except for essential reasons, even with in BC and certainly inter-provincially as well right now,” said Henry.

She also reported 1,330 new cases over the weekend: 584 from Friday to Saturday, 445 from Saturday to Sunday and a further 301 in the last 24 hours. Four of the cases over the weekend are epidemiologically linked and BC’s total has reached 61,447. 

Of the new cases, 281 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 548 in the Fraser Health region, 65 in the Island Health region, 257 in the Interior Health region, 166 in the Northern Health region and 13 people who normally live outside Canada. The majority of those people are temporary farm workers who entered B.C. in preparation for the coming season.

There are 4,326 active cases and 343 people in hospital, 68 of whom are in critical care. A further 6,865 people are being monitored by public health, not including those in the Northern Health region. 

Sadly, 31 more people lost their lives due to COVID-19 over the weekend. Most were seniors or elders living in longterm care. Henry announced one new healthcare outbreak and declared four over, leaving 48 active outbreaks in longterm care or assisted living facilities and 10 in acute care facilities. Healthcare outbreaks are currently affecting 1,339 residents and 708 staff members.

To date, 87,346 people have been vaccinated. Henry confirmed the province will experience a delay in delivery of around 60,000 Pfizer vaccine doses next week and the week after, which will temporarily slow the vaccination of at-risk populations. Moderna deliveries are still on schedule. The province’s plan continues to be starting second doses at day 35, which will begin next week.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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