COVID-19 update for Dec. 21: More COVID-19 measures on the way | Cases surge as provinces re-impose restrictions

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 Dec. 21, 2021.


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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 Dec. 20:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 228,335 (5,435 active)
• New cases since Dec. 17: 2,550 (911, 832, 807)
• Total deaths: 2,402 (3 deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 185
• Intensive care: 77
• Total vaccinations: 4,352,063 received first dose; 4,118,432 second doses; 727,761 third doses,
• Recovered from acute infection: 220,348
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 1


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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


1:30 p.m. – Additional COVID-19 measures expected today

The provincial government is expected to outline additional COVID-19 measures at a news conference at 1:30 p.m. today. The announcement comes as B.C. reported 2,550 new cases of COVID-19 over a three-day period.


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Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth will be joining Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry during the briefing.

It is unclear how many of the new infections are due to the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. The province is expected to provide updated figures today.

Long lines at COVID test centres as positive cases rise in B.C.

Joanna Wood inched her SUV forward, pressing a foot on the brakes before turning her head to read lines of a children’s book to her kids in the back seat. She was among droves of people enduring what traffic police estimated was a four-hour wait to get a COVID test at St. Vincent’s centre in Vancouver on Monday.

“They are both showing symptoms of COVID-19,” Wood said about her two daughters through her passenger’s side window. “Normally, if the girls were sick we’d stay at home but this year we were hoping to visit with some extended family.”


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Others standing in the walk-up testing line near Queen Elizabeth Park told Postmedia they came because of instructions from their boss. Some said through masks that they were worried their cough was indicative of an active infection that could pose a risk to their family. All of their holiday plans hinged upon the results of their test.

COVID-19 cases in B.C. are back up to figures not seen since October, with an average of 850 a day.

The province reported a three-day total of 2,550 new cases on Monday and three more deaths. There are 5,435 active infections, up from 2,949 a week ago.

Vancouver Coastal Health is urging residents without symptoms not to get tested. People are asked to first consult B .C.’s self-assessment tool , which is an online form that logs the severity of symptoms and generates recommended courses of action.


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— Sarah Grochowski

COVID-19 cases surge as provinces scramble to re-impose restrictions

Large parts of Canada are starting to hunker down, with new restrictions coming into effect as a fifth wave of COVID-19 fuelled by the Omicron variant saw thousands of new cases across the country over the weekend.

Quebec and Nova Scotia set new records for their daily case counts on Sunday while Ontario reported more than 4,100 additional infections, which was 800 more than the previous day.

Other parts of the country were also experiencing a surge in new cases unseen since before the summer as the Omicron variant, identified by the World Health Organization as a potential concern only last month, became increasingly entrenched in Canada.


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And while hospitalizations have remained steady in Ontario and some other parts of the country, a recent spike in the number of severe cases in Quebec has added to concerns the rest of the country could soon follow.

In response to the growing wave, several provinces have started to re-impose public health restrictions only days before the start of the holiday season that in many cases apply to both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

In Ontario, new limits on social gatherings and capacity limits in stores and restaurants came into effect Sunday as the provincial government struggled to get escalating case counts under control.

Similar restrictions were set to come down in British Columbia and Quebec on Monday.


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— The Canadian Press


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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