BC. Health officials have extended the ban on social gatherings for another month as the province recorded 761 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths on Thursday

Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry said the current ordinances, including a ban on gatherings with anyone outside the immediate household, will apply through February 5 at midnight

“This is the riskiest time right now,” said Henry. “We cannot give up our vigilance as the vaccine is just beginning”

Thursday was the highest one-day case count since December 2, coming two weeks after the holiday season, which officials feared would spur cases

Henry attributed the increase in cases to changes in the way the province collects data, but cautioned that the province’s curve is sloping up

BC.The death toll now stands at 970 Henry said the most recent deaths were all senior citizens who lived in long-term care facilities

“We need to protect our seniors and elders as we get closer to our vaccination program,” she said, becoming visibly emotional

The ban applies to all personal events and gatherings, including cinemas and theatrical productions, as well as high-intensity fitness classes and team sports for adults, both indoor and outdoor

The non-essential travel advice of the province remains, including the entry and exit to BC.and between regions

The province has also identified two other cases of the coronavirus variant that were first discovered in the UK

Both are household contacts of the first known case, of a resident of the island health region who has remained isolated since returning from the U.S.K on dec 15

Henry said there are no other contacts and the officers do not believe anyone else is at risk of the variant. Officials continue to monitor for further cases

Currently there is 6 in B349 active cases of COVID-19CA total of 372 people are in the hospital, 74 of them in the intensive care unit

The province announced a series of changes and improvements to the way data is collected and published related to the pandemic on Thursday

The province will publish case and death numbers in nursing homes weekly, three months after it has stopped disclosing this information

Positive test information is also being automated from laboratory results directly into the provincial data system instead of going through separate health authorities

Alex Migdal is a journalist with CBC News in Vancouver. He has previously reported for The Globe and Mail, Guelph Mercury and Edmonton Journal. You can reach him at Alex migdal @ cbcca

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Bonnie Henry Update

World News – CA – BC. Extends Social Gathering Ban To February 5, Announces 761 New COVID-19 Cases | CBC news

Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/covid-19-update-jan-7-1.5841124