VICTORIA — British Columbia's provincial health officer is urging people to be patient and keep taking precautions to prevent transmission of COVID-19 as the province recorded its highest death toll in a single "tragic" day.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says all but two of the 28 fatalities occurred in long-term care homes, and 587 people have now died in B.C. since the start of the pandemic.
She says 723 new infections have been diagnosed as the province surpasses 40,000 cases of the virus.
The number of people in hospital continues to rise at 346, while 83 of them are in intensive care.
Henry says the start of an immunization program next week with 4,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine brings hope, but the "storm" of the pandemic has yet to pass as a large number of infections and deaths continue.
She says wearing masks will be part of the past in the coming months as travel and hugs return, but it's important to shun gatherings during upcoming religious observances such as Hanukkah, which starts at midnight.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2020.
The Canadian Press