Vancouver Island adds 50 COVID-19 cases, 1 death over weekend
VICTORIA -- B.C. health officials identified 50 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Monday.
The new cases were among 1,759 cases found across the province over the weekend.
Of those cases, 596 were reported Saturday, 605 were identified Sunday and 558 were confirmed Monday.
The Island Health region has now confirmed 4,848 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
There are currently 210 active cases of the virus in the island region, including 18 people in hospital and six more receiving critical care.
Island Health identified the location of 169 active cases Monday, including 85 in the South Island, 59 in the Central Island and 25 in the North Island.
Over the weekend 20 people died of the virus, bringing the province's death toll to 1,622.
"As always our condolences and our thoughts and prayers go out to the people who have lost a loved one," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Henry said most of the people who died were over the age of 70, though two people were in their 40s and two others were in their 50s.
Health Minister Adrian Dix noted that one victim lived in the Vancouver Island region. Thirty-nine people have now died of COVID-19 in the region since the pandemic began
B.C. has now administered 2,159,103 vaccine doses, including 106,058 second doses.
Henry encourages all British Columbians to register for the province's vaccine program, which will alert users when they are eligible for a vaccine appointment.
B.C.'s top doctor says the age-based program is "rapidly accelerating" as the province receives increasingly large shipments of vaccine.
Henry notes that everyone aged 40 and older will be able to book their vaccine appointment later this week, and anyone aged 18 and older can begin booking their appointment later Monday if they live in a pandemic hotspot.
Beginning Wednesday, the province will begin releasing COVID-19 information on specific regions, according to health officials.
The province will release data collected by community health service areas, which are smaller than health authorities and provide a more granular look at transmission, according to Henry.
In the meantime, while B.C.'s vaccine program is ramping up, health officials say that residents must remain cautious and follow current health orders.
"We are not yet at the point where we can ease up on the restrictions we have in place," said Henry.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.