(Files by Catherine Garrett-MyPGNow)
The first weekend of 2021 brought 2,211 new COVID-19 cases for B.C.
Northern Health reported 169 cases in the four-day period, for a total of 2,186.
Interior Health’s total went up by 288.
Of the province’s nearly 55,000 cases, 6,823 are considered active with 351 people in hospital and 74 receiving intensive care.
45 more people have died from the virus, including three in Northern Health explained Provincial Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry.
B.C.’s death toll has reached 946.
Just under 8800 people are under active public health monitoring, however, this number does not include Northern Health.
Doctor Henry says this is because the health authority is working to correct a data error.
Meanwhile, health officials provided further details on the province’s vaccination plan, to be laid out in full later this month.
Mass immunizations are expected to start in late March and April.
Residents and staff at long-term care facilities continue to be the top priority for the vaccine, working out to be about 70,000 people.
Essential visitors to long term care will also have access, as well as assisted living residents and those in hospital waiting for a placement.
It also includes those in provincial correctional facilities, group homes and others in high-risk living situations.
Doctor Henry says the goal is to have this group given at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of this month.
Community-based seniors over the age of 80 and Indigenous elders over the age of 65 will be next.
This second group is about 400,000 people and includes homeless people, long term home support recipients and staff, and Indigenous communities and hospital staff.
More Moderna is not expected for another three weeks, Doctor Henry explains, because of the amount of planning required for the proper handling and transportation.
So far, the province has received 54,625 doses of both Pfizer and Moderna, and 27,348 people have rolled up their sleeves so far.