Vancouver Island adds 4 new COVID-19 cases as B.C. eases restrictions
VICTORIA -- Health officials have identified four new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Tuesday, as B.C. enters Step 2 of its restart plan.
The new cases were among 108 cases found across the province over the last 24 hours.
B.C. has now reported 146,561 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, including 5,136 found in the island region.
There are currently 85 active cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region, according to the BCCDC, including two people who are in hospital for treatment, neither of whom require critical care.
Island Health identified the locations of 56 of the active cases Tuesday, including 41 in the South Island, seven in the Central Island and eight in the North Island.
Health officials say no COVID-19-related deaths have occurred over the past 24 hours. Since the pandemic began, 1,734 people have died of the virus in B.C., including 41 victims in the Vancouver Island region.
Approximately 76.1 per cent of adults in B.C. have now received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 74.4 per cent of people aged 12 and older have received their first dose.
In total, B.C. has administered 4,102,905 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, some 657,491 of which are second doses.
B.C. EASING RESTRICTIONS
Tuesday marked the official start of Step 2 of the province's reopening plan.
Step 2 means that travel is no longer restricted within the province, organized indoor gatherings of up to 50 people can restart – such as movie theatre screenings and banquet hall events – and outdoor gatherings of up to 50 people can be hosted.
Restrictions were also eased for sports events, indoor worship services and liquor can be served until midnight at restaurants and bars.
Health officials noted that restrictions such as physical distancing and staying home if feeling unwell are still in effect.
"If you are considering visiting another community for recreational travel, be aware that some people and some communities are moving at a slower pace – a pace that works for them," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement Tuesday.
"These communities may not be ready to welcome visitors at this time, so please be respectful when making any travel plans."
Step 3 of B.C.'s restart plan is scheduled to take place on July 1 at the earliest.
"As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, our success in this next phase is dependent on all of us doing our part to keep COVID-19 low and slow," said Henry and Dix.