VICTORIA -- The Vancouver Island region has surpassed 800 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began with the discovery Thursday of four new cases in Island Health.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the new cases Thursday, along with 21 deaths from the coronavirus across B.C., including one death on Vancouver Island.

Island Health confirmed the death was related to the ongoing outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital, which has infected 10 staff members and 10 patients – killing three.

Provincewide, there were 673 new COVID-19 cases announced Thursday, bringing the province’s active caseload to 10,009.

There are currently 76 active cases of the virus in the health region, including 34 in the Central Island, 24 in the South Island and 18 in the North Island.

Five people are in hospital with COVID-19 in the island region and four people are in critical care.

Nine people have died of COVID-19 in Island Health since the pandemic began.

Henry said 1,215 B.C. health-care workers have now received the COVID-19 vaccine that arrived in B.C. this week. But she stressed that now is not the time to ignore public health measures designed to curb the spread of the virus, especially around holiday gatherings.

“Without a doubt, we have light ahead,” Henry said in a live news conference in Victoria. “The efforts you make mean that we will all be safer as a result and we will get through his pandemic. So let’s together make this holiday season a safe season for all of us.”

There have been 803 cases of COVID-19 in Island Health since the pandemic began. Approximately 715 people in the region have recovered from the disease.