COVID-19 update for Jan. 3: Here’s the latest on coronavirus in B.C.

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Jan. 3, 2022.


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We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


As of the latest figures given on Jan. 3:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 264,181 (20,811 active *as of Dec. 31 )
• New cases: 9,332 (4,033, 3,069 and 2,230)
• Total deaths: 2,420 (three new deaths) *as of Dec. 31
• Hospitalized cases: 220 (up by nine) *as of Dec. 31
• Intensive care: 73 (up by eight) *as of Dec. 31
• Total vaccinations: 4,392,141 received first dose (92% of eligible pop. 12+); 4,133,438 second doses (89.2%); 909,248 third doses (19.6%) *as of Dec. 31
• Recovered from acute infection: 231,058 *as of Dec. 31
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: Fifteen *as of Dec. 31


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IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

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COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


Preliminary data shows 9,332 new cases in B.C. over three days

An estimated 9,332 more British Columbians have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three days, according to a statement by health officials.


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The preliminary case numbers, which will be confirmed on Tuesday, shows 4,033 new cases from Friday to Saturday, 3,069 new cases from Saturday to Sunday and 2,230 new cases from Sunday to Monday.

More than half of the new cases were in the Fraser Health region, which recorded 4,859 positive tests. There were also 1,797 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 1,185 in Interior Health, 1,117 in Island Health and 374 in Northern Health.

The new cases was the only COVID-related update issued by the province today. Death, hospitalization and vaccination figures won’t be released until Tuesday.

St. Vincent and YVR testing sites reopen: Vancouver Coastal Health

The Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) testing sites at St. Vincent’s and YVR have reopened.


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Testing at the two sites returned to regular days and hours of operation on Monday after being closed due to extreme cold and inclement weather since Christmas.

During the closure of the two sites, people were diverted to UBC and other clinics around Vancouver but capacity was down.

VCH still encourages anyone who is fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms not to get tested but to self-isolate, in order to “preserve  testing capacity for those at higher risk from COVID-19.”

Outbreak on two floors at Fraserview Retirement Community

Vancouver Coastal Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak in two parts of Fraserview Retirement Community: the first floor north and second floor north.

Ten residents have tested positive for the virus, leding to a suspension of group activities and a pause on non-essential visits until Jan. 18.


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Ontario to keep schoolkids home, close restaurants to indoor dining

Ontario children will move to remote learning, restaurants will not be allowed to offer indoor dining and gyms will be closed, the Doug Ford government says.

“As part of the province’s response to the Omicron variant, starting January 5, students will pivot to remote learning with free emergency child care planned for school-aged children of health care and other eligible frontline workers,” a government statement released Monday says.

The province is being moved back into Step Two of the official Reopening Plan in response to rising Omicron cases and hospitalizations, Ford said in a Monday morning press conference.

— Toronto Sun

Quebec reports over 15,000 new cases as hospitalizations spike

In a delayed update on Monday, Quebec reported another 15,293 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 651,328. Of them, 103,797 are active.


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The province also reported another 165 hospitalizations, bringing the total to 1,396. Of the people in hospital, 181 are in intensive care — an increase of 19 from Sunday’s total.

Quebec reported another 15 deaths had been attributed to the virus, bringing the province’s death toll to 11,760.

The province reported that it analyzed 47,387 COVID-19 samples.

The positivity rate for COVID-19 in Quebec currently stands at 30.2 per cent, and there are 1,504 active outbreaks across the province.

— Montreal Gazette

U.S. FDA approves booster shots for 12- to 15-year-olds

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of a third dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged between 12 and 15 years, and narrowed the time for all booster shots by a month to five months after the primary doses.


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The agency on Monday also authorized a third shot in children aged 5 through 11 years who are immunocompromised.

The regulatory decisions come as COVID-19 cases surge due to the Omicron variant, with health authorities warning that its high transmissibility could overwhelm many health systems.

“Based on the FDA’s assessment of currently available data, a booster dose of the currently authorized vaccines may help provide better protection against both the Delta and Omicron variants,” said Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

“In particular, the Omicron variant appears to be slightly more resistant to the antibody levels produced in response to the primary series doses from the current vaccines,” he said.


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— Reuters

Alberta cuts isolation period to five days for vaccinated starting today

The government of Alberta is shortening the isolation period for some individuals with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine who test positive for the novel coronavirus, though a loophole will allow for workers who are deemed essential to return to their jobs even if they are still infectious.

Starting Monday, Alberta’s Health Minister Jason Copping said fully vaccinated Albertans with COVID-19 will be required to isolate for five days instead of the previous 10-day requirement, as long as their symptoms have fully resolved. If symptoms continue past then, isolation will need to continue until the individual is feeling better.

Anyone who is not vaccinated must still isolate for at least 10 days, until symptoms resolve.


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Copping said the province is making this move because evidence shows vaccinated people have shorter infectious periods, and he said it is needed to keep the economy moving.

— Calgary Herald

Long-term care restrictions a blow to isolated residents

Marian Jardine, 91, says she just wants to die. Her distress is loneliness.

Her daughter, Cathy Nelson, hasn’t been able to explain why she suddenly won’t be able to visit her at Langley’s Marrwood long term care facility.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Friday that only one designated essential service visitor will be allowed per resident in long term care facilities in an effort to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in those settings.


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The restriction came into effect on Saturday, and will remain until Jan. 18.

The new restrictions are gut-wrenching for families.

“She’s at the end of her life. What are we doing this for? She says I just want to die, I just want to die,” said Nelson.

— Denise Ryan

Hospitalizations stable in B.C., but too soon to draw conclusions: Experts

The number of people who are entering hospitals in B.C. has dropped even as COVID-19 cases explode because of the fast-spreading Omicron variant, according to provincial health information.

While a reduced hospitalization rate is potentially good news — as is initial data from countries such as South Africa and the U.K. showing the new variant causes less severe illness — University of B.C. epidemiologist Daniel Coombs advises caution on drawing conclusions. It will take more time to get a clearer picture of what the Omicron variant means for British Columbia, he said.


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Coombs noted there are differences, for example, between B.C. and South Africa, which has a much younger population and fewer people are vaccinated. As a result, there is more immunity directly from infections.

It’s also difficult to draw conclusions in B.C. as the actual number of Omicron infections is unknown because some people won’t know they have it and others with mild illness may not get tested, said Coombs, who has expertise in mathematical models of pandemic growth and control.

B.C.’s testing capacity also cannot accommodate demand.

— Gordon Hoekstra

A look back at the ups and downs of the pandemic in 2021

It’s been a year of ups and downs in B.C.’s battle against COVID-19 .

After fighting back a deadly winter wave at the start of the year, B.C.’s vaccination program ramped up by the summer, with more than 4.1 million people — 83 per cent of British Columbians — receiving at least two doses as of Dec. 30. Deaths from the virus plunged, businesses reopened and long-delayed surgeries resumed.


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Then came Omicron.

On Nov. 26 the World Health Organization designated Omicron a “variant of concern.” Within weeks, the variant was spreading widely in B.C., including among the vaccinated. Omicron rapidly began replacing Delta as B.C.’s primary COVID-19 variant, and cases began to rise dramatically. On Dec. 30, authorities in B.C. announced a record-breaking 4,383 new cases of the virus.

— Nathan Griffiths


Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press



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