VICTORIA, B.C. – The message this New Years Eve is to stay small and stay local, to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, says Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Henry issued an emergency order to stop liquor sales at 8:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve as part of pandemic measures.

Henry says the early closure is necessary and acknowledges this has been very tough on industry, but does note that B.C. is one of the few Canadian jurisdictions with in-restaurant service still happening.

When it comes to inoculations, to date as of Thursday, December 31, Henry reports that 17,510 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, both of Pfizer and Moderna, have been administered to British Columbians.

Earlier in the day, Thursday, Northern Health announced that vaccine doses will be coming to Fort St. John in the new year.

According to Henry, 683 new cases were confirmed across B.C., Thursday, bringing the total to 51,983.

Active cases across the province stand at 7,803, and 42,129 have since recovered from the virus.

Hospitalizations in B.C. are at 374, with 76 of those in ICU.

The province’s death count now sits at 901.

9,364 people are currently under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases but does not include data from Northern Health.