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One more COVID-19 death in Northern Health

Four new cases of Omicron variant confirmed in B.C.
DNA image of COVID-19. (via Getty Images)

Northern Health was home to 22 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death from the disease, provincial health officials said Tuesday.

The fatality raises the total to 262 in the region since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. It was the only death record in B.C. on Tuesday.

Active cases in the region stood at 261, down from 342 on Monday. There were 25 COVID-19 patients in hospital with nine in critical care, unchanged from Monday.

As of Friday, the rolling seven-day average for new cases in Northern Health was 48.4 per day,  compared to 93.1 on Nov. 14 and a peak of 115.9 on Oct. 20, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Meanwhile, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed that four cases of the new Omicron variant were identified over the weekend. This brings B.C.’s case total to five.

Three of the five cases reported in B.C. so far hit fully vaccinated people. All five cases are tied to people who had recently travelled internationally.

Henry added there are other “suspect and pending” COVID-19 cases that will likely turn out to be tied to the Omicron variant.

“It seems like we’re on this never-ending uncertainty,” Henry said, acknowledging such uncertainty over this new variant can be causing stress, anxiety and depression for many British Columbians.

“They’ve all been mild cases or asymptomatic cases.”

She said the cases were detected during random screenings at the airport and added that “clearly, clearly people should be vaccinated before they travel.”

As of Tuesday 85.6% (4,267,612) of eligible people five and older have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 82% (4,088,609) have received their second dose. And 11% (504,977) of eligible people 12 and older have received their third dose.

B.C. health officials committed in October to making third doses available to British Columbians who received their second doses at least six to eight months prior.

- with files from Tyler Orton, Glacier Media