VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Eleven more people have died because of COVID-19 in B.C., and health officials are asking Britsh Columbians to keep each other safe over the holidays.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint release another 624 infections have been recorded for a total of 45,400 since the pandemic hit the province.

RELATED: B.C. set for regular COVID-19 vaccine deliveries; 21 deaths, 673 infections reported

They note 2,592 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to frontline health-care workers so far. Regular deliveries of vaccine will start arriving in B.C. next week.

Heading into the first weekend before Christmas, health officials are asking everyone to find ways to celebrate the holidays safely.

RELATED: B.C. premier cancels family Christmas plans after COVID-19 rule confusion

With students off for winter break, and many British Columbians shopping for last-minute gifts, Henry and Dix remind everyone to be patient and use layers of protection, like mask-wearing and physical distancing.

“This holiday season is about finding ways to celebrate safely, knowing that what we are doing now will help ensure we can safely spend time with our loved ones in the new year,” the release reads.

Friday’s update on #BC’s response to #COVID19

11 deaths mean 724 lives have been lost since the pandemic started

624 new cases bring total positive count to 45,400

Of 356 patients hospitalized, 92 are in critical care

People vaccinated this week: 2592 #bcpoli @NEWS1130

— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) December 19, 2020


Hospitalizations have remained high since they started increasing in November. There are 356 people in hospital because of the virus, with 92 in intensive care.

While this is the second day in a row without an outbreak in healthcare, there is another at Rossdown Natural Foods.

With 9978 active cases, 10 211 under isolation and 33 589 people listed as recovered.

That rate improves to 74% from 73.6% Thursday

New cases per health region:

106 Vancouver Coastal
406 Fraser
5 Island
60 Interior
47 Northern
0 non-residents of Canada#bcpoli @NEWS1130

— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) December 19, 2020

“This holiday season will be like no other. It will be a quieter time than what many of us are used to, but it is important to remember that we will get through this storm,” the release reads. “The steps we take in the last days of 2020 are going to ensure a brighter, healthier, and safer 2021 for all of us.”

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