Vancouver Island adds 31 new COVID-19 cases
B.C.'s chief provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares an update on COVID-19. (Province of British Columbia)
VICTORIA -- Health officials have confirmed 31 more cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Friday.
The new cases were among 589 found across B.C. over the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, seven more people have died of COVID-19 across the province, bringing B.C.'s death toll to 1,355.
"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 seen 2,309 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
The health authority has released the approximate locations of 260 active cases on the island. Most of the cases, 161, are located in the Central Island, 35 are active in the South Island and 64 are ongoing in the North Island.
As of Friday, B.C. has administered 252,373 vaccine doses, including 73,808 second doses.
Health officials celebrated the Federal Government's approval of two versions of a new COVID-19 vaccine created by Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Verity-Serum Institute of India.
"This is very encouraging news for everyone in British Columbia," said Dix and Henry Friday.
The pair noted that the new vaccine is exciting because it is easier to transport than other vaccines and is does not need to be kept at extremely low temperatures.
"This new vaccine will be integrated into our provincial immunization program as delivery and supply is confirmed in the coming weeks," said the pair.
Health officials previously said that concrete details on mass vaccination for British Columbians over the age of 80 will be announced Monday.
For the third day in a row, no new COVID-19 outbreaks were declared in any health-care facility across the province.
Outbreaks continue at five acute-care facilities, and at 11 long-term care or assisted living facilities, including two on Vancouver Island.
Health officials noted that the information provided in Friday's release was "provisional" because of delays experienced in the province's lab reporting system. A full update will be posted on the BCCDC website once available.