Public health workers unpack B.C.’s first shipment of Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, which has to be kept in low-temperature packaging until administering, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)

Public health workers unpack B.C.’s first shipment of Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, which has to be kept in low-temperature packaging until administering, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases dip to 522 Tuesday

Hospitalized, intensive care patients still increasing

B.C.’s downward trend in diagnosed COVID-19 cases continued Tuesday, but hospitalizations crept up and 21 more people have died from the virus.

B.C.’s 522 new cases reported Dec. 15 is down from 759 on Monday, with 361 people in hospital, up two in the last 24 hours. Patients in intensive care rose from 87 to 93.

B.C. recorded 2,146 new cases between Friday and Monday, continuing a high but steady level of around 700 in recent days and a decline from a peak of nearly 1,000 daily cases in late November. There were also 49 additional deaths over the three days, an increased rate that reflects mostly infections among seniors in long-term care.

B.C. public health officials reported two new community outbreaks, at Big White Ski Resort in the Okanagan, and Teck Resources Elkview and Fording River coal mining operations in the Kootenay region.

A new health care outbreak was reported at Burnaby Hospital, and the outbreak at Langley Memorial Hospital’s long-term care facility has been declared over.

“Today is a momentous day in our province with the start of our first COVID-19 vaccine clinics,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement. “With immunizations now underway, those who are most vulnerable to severe illness have one more layer of protection that will get stronger as each new person gets immunized.”

RELATED: Horgan warns holiday partiers, protesters of fines

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