VICTORIA -- Health Officials have discovered nine more cases of COVID-19 in the Island Health region Wednesday, bringing the number of active cases on the island to 66.

Most of the active cases, 28, are located in the South Island. Twenty-four cases are active in the Central Island while 14 are ongoing in the North Island. The health authority has now reported 847 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

Across the province, 518 cases of COVID-19 were discovered over the past 24 hours. Nineteen more people have also died of the virus, bringing B.C.’s death toll to 796 since the start of the pandemic.

On Vancouver Island, five people are currently in hospital for treatment of the virus, and one person requires critical care.

On Wednesday, health officials reviewed B.C.’s latest COVID-19 modelling data. The data shows that case rates in B.C. are starting to decline, but only if British Columbians continue to focus on preventing transmission and staying safe, said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Case rates among school-aged children have remained particularly low, with fewer than 0.7 per cent of students testing positive for COVID-19.

However, B.C.’s top doctor continued to urge caution, especially as the holidays approached.

“It does not take much to tip us back into scenarios where this virus again could take off,” said Henry.

B.C.’s top doctor also spoke on recent COVID-19 vaccine breakthroughs. British Columbia is scheduled to receive its first shipment of Moderna vaccine doses by next week, alongside other Canadian provinces.

Meanwhile, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can now be moved to other areas of the province. Initially, it could only be administered at its port of arrival, limiting who and where the vaccine could be distributed, said Henry.

Overall, B.C.’s top doctor estimates that around 792,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations will be delivered to B.C. by March 2021. The immunizations will be provided to individuals based on priority populations.

As of Wednesday, approximately 5,603 health-care workers across B.C. had received their first vaccine dose, including Henry.

Henry said that some long-term care residents on Vancouver Island could see the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine administered by next week.

Further information on Wednesday’s modelling can be found here.

Informational graphs from B.C.’s latest COVID-19 modelling data can be found below: