VICTORIA -- British Columbia health officials identified 32 new cases of COVID-19 in the Island Health region Wednesday, nearing a record-high for Vancouver Island.

The new cases were among 500 cases discovered across B.C. over the past 24 hours.

There are 183 active cases in the island region Wednesday, including 15 people in hospital and seven in critical care. 

Island Health has identified the approximate location of 177 of the active cases. Twenty-two are located in the South Island, 132 are active in the Central Island and 23 are ongoing in the North Island.

Fourteen more people in B.C. have died of the disease Wednesday, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,104.

No one in the Island Health region died of the virus over the past 24 hours. However, Island Health has confirmed that a death on Vancouver Island on Monday was located at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence, a long-term care home in Nanaimo where a COVID-19 outbreak is currently ongoing.

It was the second death related to the outbreak at the care home.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of each of these individuals as they grieve the loss of a cherished loved one,” said the health authority. “To the staff at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence and Island Health staff involved, please know that the entire Island Health family is behind you and is thankful for the compassionate care you are providing during this difficult time.”

A total of 1,338 COVID-19 cases have now been recorded in the island region since the pandemic began. Seventeen people have died in Island Health over that time period and 1,127 have recovered.

The all-time high for new daily COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island was set on Jan. 12 and tied on Jan. 15 with 34 cases.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Wednesday that 98,125 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across B.C.

There were two new outbreaks reported in health-care facilities Wednesday, one in the Northern Health region and one in Vancouver Coastal Health.

A new community outbreak has also been confirmed at the Surrey pretrial correctional centre.

Despite the new outbreaks, health officials say they are optimistic that the province is winning its fight against the pandemic.

“Our COVID-19 curve is trending in the right direction, and we want to keep that going – to push our curve down, which in turn, will allow us to safely ease restrictions,” said Dix and Henry.

“We thank everyone for continuing to do their part to stop the spread in our communities and helping all of us to get to the finish line faster. With each day that we follow the public health measures, our communities and our loved ones are safer. Let’s keep going.”