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B.C. reports 444 new COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths

Click to play video 'B.C. officials announce 444 new cases of COVID-19, 12 additional deaths' B.C. officials announce 444 new cases of COVID-19, 12 additional deaths
B.C. health officials release a written statement with the daily COVID-19 numbers for Tuesday, Dec. 22. Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey has the details, an update on Wednesday's modelling numbers and information about visiting B.C. ski hills during the holidays. – Dec 22, 2020

B.C. reported 444 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday along with 12 deaths.

Of the new cases, 79 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 256 in the Fraser Health, nine in Island Health, 78 in Interior Health, and 22 in Northern Health. Fourteen cases were epi-linked.

A total of 6,571 tests were conducted during that period.

The seven-day rolling average of B.C.’s positivity rates is 5.7 per cent.

The deaths bring the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 777.

Click to play video 'Dr. Bonnie Henry on possibly delaying the start of school after winter break' Dr. Bonnie Henry on possibly delaying the start of school after winter break
Dr. Bonnie Henry on possibly delaying the start of school after winter break – Dec 22, 2020

The number of people in hospital with the disease rose by 16 to 357. Of those, 84 patients are in intensive care.

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There are now 9,481 active cases in B.C., a decrease of 237 from Monday.

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Another 9,723 people are in self-isolation due to possible exposure.

The province also reported that 4,108 people in B.C. have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more: B.C. reports 1,667 new COVID-19 cases over three days, 41 deaths

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that COVID-19 cases are beginning to level off, but the number of new infections is still too high.

That same day, she reported 1,667 new cases over a three-day span as well as 41 deaths, most of them among seniors at long-term care homes where there are outbreaks.

Read more: Coronavirus: B.C. could still extend winter break for students

In a Facebook Live Q&A with Global News earlier that day, Henry said the province is still looking at extending the winter break for students amid the pandemic.

— With files from Amy Judd and The Canadian Press