VICTORIA, B.C. – On Christmas Eve, the BC CDC is reporting 68 new cases of COVID-19 in Northern B.C. and five new deaths.

The 68 cases is a new one day record for Northern Health. There are 516 active cases in the region, with 1,182 people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Northern Health told that three of the recent deaths happened at the Jubilee Lodge, a long term care home in Prince George.

To date, there have been 48 laboratory-confirmed cases connected to the Coastal GasLink pipeline including the outbreak at 7 Mile Lodge in the Burns Lake Local Health Area (LHA), and Little Rock Lake Lodge in Nechako LHA. Thirty-one cases remain active; the majority are in self-isolation in their home communities, and a small number are self-isolating at either Lodge.

Across B.C. there were 582 new cases and 12 new COVID-19 related deaths. In B.C. there have now been 808 deaths due to the virus.

In a written statement, Dr. Bonnie Henry says Christmas and the holidays are a time to try new virtual activities. “Try the many new virtual activities that have been arranged this year – whether a church service, holiday choral concert or theatre performance.”

Henry encourages everyone to connect safely with loved ones but reminds everyone to keep holiday gatherings small and with only people in your household.