28 new COVID-19 cases found on Vancouver Island as B.C. extends restrictions
VICTORIA -- Health officials identified 28 more cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Friday.
Across B.C., 471 cases of COVID-19 were added over the past 24 hours, while six people died of the disease.
“We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost loved ones to COVID-19,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement.
The Island Health region has now seen 1,783 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
There are currently 270 active cases in the Vancouver Island region.
Island Health has released the approximate locations of 236 of the active cases. Sixty-one are located in the South Island, 165 are active in the Central Island and 10 are ongoing in the North Island.
As of Friday, 18 people are in hospital for treatment of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, and another five are receiving critical care.
Earlier Friday, health officials provided an update on B.C.’s current social restrictions and latest modelling data.
The restrictions, which were set to expire Friday night, have been extended indefinitely.
Friday’s modelling data suggested that B.C. has plateaued its COVID-19 transmission rate, and is beginning to see signs of a decrease.
However, Henry said that the province was still in a position to see a surge in cases, which is why the restrictions were extended.
If B.C. continues its downward trend, Henry says that restrictions could be eased by the end of the month, and people may be able to return to visiting with their “safe six” social bubble.
Right now, health officials are waiting to see how COVID-19 transmission unfolds over the next several weeks, and are keeping a close eye on COVID-19 variants and their impacts on the province, which will impact the length of the restrictions.
“Between now and the end of the month, we will be continually reconsidering the need for the restrictions based on incidence and prevalence of the virus, new information about transmission, especially understanding the impact of variants, and the progress of vaccine supply and our immunization program,” said Henry and Dix.
Across B.C., 149,564 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 10,366 second doses.
Henry said Friday that current health restrictions will help “buy ourselves some time” to continue with B.C.’s immunization programs, which have seen some setbacks due to recent vaccine shipment delays.