Vancouver Island adds 61 new COVID-19 cases, as influx delays surgeries
British Columbia health officials identified 61 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Tuesday.
The cases were among 525 new cases found in B.C. over the past 24 hours, according to a statement from the provincial health ministry.
There are now 5,282 active COVID-19 cases in B.C., including 619 active cases in the Vancouver Island region.
Island Health data identified the locations of 540 active cases Tuesday, including 319 in the South Island, 181 in the Central Island and 40 in the North Island.
One more person in the province has died from the disease, the ministry announced Tuesday, noting the victim was in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix emphasized the importance of vaccinations in preventing serious illness and death from the coronavirus during a news conference Tuesday morning.
"As of Sunday night, 156 people were in critical care in our province with COVID-19," Dix told reporters.
"One hundred and thirty-eight of those were unvaccinated, meaning that those people, the unvaccinated, are remarkably vulnerable right now to COVID-19 and its most serious effects," he added.
Since the pandemic began, 1,900 people in B.C. have died of COVID-19, including 58 people in the Island Health region.
511 SURGERIES POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19
Hospitals in B.C. postponed 511 non-urgent surgeries last week due to an influx of COVID-19 patients, according to Dix.
"Every one of those surgeries is medically necessary," he said. "Every one of those surgeries will be done."
The delayed surgeries included 34 procedures in the Island Health region, the minister said.
Thirty-two people are in hospital with COVID-19 on Vancouver Island – 16 of them in critical care, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.
"Five per cent of COVID-19 patients in ICU [in B.C.] are fully vaccinated," Dix noted Tuesday.
There are currently 22 active outbreaks at B.C. health-care facilities, including one on Vancouver Island.
On Sunday, Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak after two cases of the coronavirus were detected at the Victoria Chinatown Care Centre.
All 31 residents of the home are being tested for COVID-19, as are staff members, the health authority said.
A previous health-care outbreak at Sunset Lodge in Victoria ended on Friday, after killing six residents and infecting 36 residents and staff.
Approximately 87 per cent of eligible British Columbians have now received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 79.5 per cent have received two doses.
The province has administered 7,725,586 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since it began its immunizing campaign in December.