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BC identifies first case of South African COVID-19 variant

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 4:12 PST, Thu January 14, 2021

BC has identified one more case of the United Kingdom variant, related to a traveller. There has also been one case of the South African variant in the province, but that person is not known to have travelled or to have a connection to a traveller.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also reported 536 new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday, including six that are epidemiologically linked. BC’s total case count has reached 59,608.

Of the new cases, 102 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 253 in the Fraser Health region, 21 in the Island Health region, 115 in the Interior Health region and 45 in the Northern Health region.

There are 4,624 active cases and 362 people in hospital with COVID-19, 74 of whom are in critical care. A further 7,303 are being monitored by public health.

Sadly, seven more people died due to the virus, most of whom were residents of longterm care. There were two new healthcare outbreaks announced and two declared over. The healthcare outbreaks in the province are currently affecting 1,454 residents and 776 staff members—an increase of 90 residents and 107 staff from Monday’s briefing.

So far, 69,746 people have been vaccinated across the province. 

In response to concerns over increasing numbers in the Interior Health region, Henry said this growth “is absolutely reflective of people getting together over the holiday season.” 

“Now in the Interior we are seeing the implications of what could happen in this province if we had all taken those liberties a few weeks ago,” she said.

For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and to find a testing centre near you: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.

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