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No New Year’s Eve liquor sales: BC officials

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:19 PST, Wed December 30, 2020

Last Updated: 5:25 PST, Wed December 30, 2020

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is restricting liquor sales on New Year’s Eve in a bid to reduce alcohol-fuelled gatherings.

“In order to temper some of this risk, I will be issuing an order,” she said today.

All establishments that sell liquor—including bars, pubs, restaurants and liquor stores—must cease sales at 8 p.m. Dec. 31. The order lasts until 9 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Restaurants can continue to have meal service, however. Henry said she is “absolutely comfortable” with people dining out at restaurants that have a strong safety plan—with people in their own household only.

She also reported 485 new cases in BC today, including five that are epidemiologically linked. BC’s cumulative case total stands at 51,300. Health Minister Adrian Dix added that today’s new cases are based on 6,785 tests, yielding a positivity rate of 7.07 per cent.

Of the new cases, 117 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 211 in the Fraser Health region, 16 in the Island Health region, 57 in the Interior Health region and 84 in the Northern Health region.

There are 7,551 active cases and 379 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 77 of whom are in critical care. At least 9,320 people are being monitored by public health, a number that still does not include the Northern Health region’s statistics.

On a more positive note, 14,027 people have been vaccinated to date. The Moderna vaccine arrived in 10 remote and isolated First Nations communities today, and immunizations will begin either today or tomorrow.

There were two new healthcare facility outbreaks at Langley Memorial Hospital Cedar Hill and Surrey Memorial Hospital. 

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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