VICTORIA -- Health officials have identified 35 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Wednesday.

Across the province, 456 cases of the virus were confirmed over the past 24 hours, bringing B.C.'s total to 78,278 since the pandemic began.

Two people died of the virus, health officials said, bringing the province's coronavirus death toll to 1,338.

"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 written statement.

The Island Health region has now recorded 2,241 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Of those cases, 276 are currently considered active.

Island Health has released the approximate locations of 245 of the active cases. Thirty-nine are located in the South Island, 150 are active in the Central Island and 56 are ongoing in the North Island.

Sixteen people are currently in hospital for treatment of the virus on Vancouver Island, and five more are receiving critical care.

Since the pandemic began, 24 people have died of COVID-19 in the region, while 1,941 people have recovered.

B.C. administered more than 6,500 COVID-19 vaccine doses over the past 24 hours, for a total of 230,875 Wednesday, including 62,608 second doses.

Health officials continue to urge British Columbians to avoid unsafe social contacts and to follow health guidelines as the province works on administering vaccines.

“Vaccinating our entire population is a monumental task that must account for the diversity of our geography and our population," said Dix and Henry.

"We must consider how to safely deliver vaccine to rural and remote communities, how to connect with seniors and Elders everywhere, and how to ensure the process to get immunized is as simple as possible," said the pair. "We are pushing hard right now, and we must continue to balance speed with the need for careful thought and planning."

No new health-care outbreaks were declared over the past 24 hours, and an outbreak at an Interior Health facility is now considered over.

Outbreaks continue at 17 health-care facilities across the province, including two long-term care homes on Vancouver Island.