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B.C. reports 2,211 new cases, 45 deaths over four days in first COVID-19 update of 2021

Click to play video 'B.C. officials report 27,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered' B.C. officials report 27,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered
B.C. health officials hold their first COVID-19 update of 2021. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix report four days of COVID-19 data on Monday, Jan. 4. – Jan 4, 2021

B.C. health officials on Monday reported 2,211 new cases of COVID-19 over the past four days and 45 additional deaths.

There were 565 cases from Thursday to Friday, 607 cases from Friday to Saturday, 500 from Saturday to Sunday, and 539 from Sunday to Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said. Twenty-two of the cases were epi-linked.

Of the new cases, 389 were in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,301 in the Fraser Health region, 288 in Interior Health, 169 in Northern Health, and 64 in Island Health.

Click to play video 'B.C. officials report 27,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered' B.C. officials report 27,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered
B.C. officials report 27,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered – Jan 4, 2021
More than 25,000 tests were conducted over four days. The seven-day rolling average of B.C.’s positivity rates is 8.7 per cent.
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The 45 new deaths brought the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 946.

Click to play video 'Number of ‘active’ COVID-19 cases declining in B.C.' Number of ‘active’ COVID-19 cases declining in B.C.
Number of ‘active’ COVID-19 cases declining in B.C – Jan 4, 2021

The number of people in hospital with the disease declined by 23 to 351. Seventy-six patients were in intensive care — a number that is unchanged from the last update on Thursday.

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There are 6,823 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, a decrease of nearly 1,000 from Thursday. A total of 8,785 people in self-isolation due to possible exposure.

There have been 54,201 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C., of which about 83 per cent have recovered.

Henry announced the latest case numbers while offering more details about B.C.’s immunization program, which is currently focused on health-care staff, remote communities and residents of long-term care homes.

She said B.C. has so far received 54,625 doses of the two vaccines approved by Health Canada, with more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arriving in the province weekly.

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Click to play video 'Nearly 50 COVID-19 cases linked to Surrey’s Earl Marriot Secondary' Nearly 50 COVID-19 cases linked to Surrey’s Earl Marriot Secondary
Nearly 50 COVID-19 cases linked to Surrey’s Earl Marriot Secondary – Jan 4, 2021

During its last update on New Year’s Eve, the province reported 683 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths, to bring B.C.’s COVID-19 death past 900.

Monday’s update comes as elementary and secondary school students across the province returned to the classroom following winter break.

Read more: Coronavirus: B.C. kids return to school Monday but anxiety among some parents remains high

Some parents have expressed concern about sending their kids back to school, given recent positivity rates and a new variant of the illness detected in B.C. that could spread more easily in the school system.

Read more: COVID-19 positivity rate hits all-time high in B.C. amid fewer tests

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Questions arise about releasing data for B.C. long-term care facility Little Mountain Place – Jan 4, 2021

As of Monday morning, more than 60,000 parents have signed an online petition asking the province to keep schools closed for another two weeks.

Surrey’s school superintendent Jordan Tinney sent a letter to parents of students at Earl Marriott Secondary, telling them of 50 cases involving individuals across five classes sharing common areas and structures that had been identified. Those affected had been told to self-isolate over the holidays.

— With files from Amy Judd and The Canadian Press