65 new COVID-19 cases confirmed on Vancouver Island over weekend
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is seen before a COVID-19 briefing on Nov. 23, 2020. (Province of BC/Flickr)
VICTORIA -- Health officials say that 65 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the Island Health region over the past three days.
There are now 184 active cases of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island.
Island Health has released the approximate locations of 177 of the active cases. Twenty-seven are located in the South Island, 130 are ongoing in the Central Island and 20 are considered active in the North Island.
Across B.C., 1,330 cases of the virus were confirmed during the same time period.
Health officials say 31 people died of COVID-19 over the weekend, including two people who resided in the Island Health region, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,078.
“The vast majority of those are seniors and elders in long-term care,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “To the families, the care providers and the communities who have lost their seniors and their loved ones, our thoughts and our condolences are with you again today.”
A total of 1,285 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Island Health region since the pandemic began.
B.C.’s top doctor also spoke about the delays in receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Canada.
She said B.C. is still “on track” with its plan to protect the province’s most vulnerable residents by the end of March. The delay in vaccine shipments is only expected to impact B.C.’s vaccine rollout plan for approximately the next two weeks.
After that time, Henry says that extra doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive to make up for the short-term delay.
“It is a bit of a setback but it’s only a delay,” said Henry. “We have been assured that we will be getting the extra doses in late February and early March.”
B.C.’s top doctor added that in April, vaccine distribution is expected to ramp up significantly.
In the meantime, health officials say that the risks of COVID-19 “remain high” across B.C.
While vaccines are being distributed, residents are being urged to abide by ongoing health orders, including restrictions on gathering with friends outside of one’s household.