VICTORIA -- B.C. health officials have identified 54 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Friday.

The new cases were among 1,262 found across the province over the past 24 hours. Friday's new cases neared the province's record-high for a 24-hour period. The highest single-day case count in B.C. was recorded one day earlier, on Thursday, and is 1,293 cases.

Health officials say that two more people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the province's death toll to 1,495. No deaths were reported on Vancouver Island, where 31 people have died of the virus.

The Island Health region has now reported 3,872 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

There are currently 569 active cases in the island region. Island Health revealed the locations of 508 active cases Friday, including 270 in the South Island, 212 in the Central Island and 26 in the North Island.

Nineteen people are currently in hospital for treatment of COVID-19 in the island region, and four more are receiving critical care, according to health officials.

The Island Health region has now reported 3,872 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

B.C. has now confirmed 4,111 variant cases of COVID-19. Of those cases, 105 are currently active, according to health officials.

Meanwhile, the province has now distributed more than 1-million vaccine doses. As of Friday, the province has administered 1,025,019 COVID-19 vaccines, some 87,606 of which are second doses.

"This is a significant milestone for all of us, and we will continue to work to get vaccines into arms as soon as we can," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement.

"Today, people 65 and older, Indigenous peoples 18 and over, and individuals who have received their ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ letter may register for their vaccine," they said.

While vaccinations are underway, health officials say it's crucial to continue following public health guidelines, especially as cases surge.

"Avoid indoor gatherings outside of your household and avoid travel," said Dix and Henry. "Get tested if you have even mild symptoms and use all of your layers of protection."

"Bending the rules only delays our ability to put the pandemic behind us, so let’s ensure we are not looking for exceptions to the orders we have in place, but rather looking to how we can help each other to stay small, stay local and stay strong in the face of COVID-19."