Vancouver Island adds 61 new COVID-19 cases
Health officials identified 61 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Thursday as hundreds of coronavirus cases remain active in the region.
The new cases were among 715 cases found across the province over the past 24 hours, according to a statement from the B.C. health ministry.
There are currently 4,965 active cases in the province, including 504 active cases in the island region.
Island Health data identified the locations of 431 active cases Thursday, including 178 in the South Island, 217 in the Central Island and 36 in the North Island.
Four more people in B.C. have died of COVID-19, the province announced Thursday. All four deaths were recorded in the Northern Health region.
Since the pandemic began, 2,096 people have died of the illness in B.C., including 84 people in the Island Health region.
Fifty-two people are currently in hospital with COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, including 24 patients in critical care, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.
As of Thursday, 89.8 per cent of British Columbians aged 12 and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 83.8 per cent of eligible residents have received two doses.
The province has administered 8,103,896 doses of vaccine since it began its vaccination efforts in December.
NEW FEDERAL VACCINE PASSPORT ANNOUNCED
Earlier Thursday afternoon, B.C. Premier John Horgan spoke about the federal government's announcement of a new vaccine passport.
The passport will be required for anyone looking to board a plane or train in Canada starting in November.
B.C.'s vaccine card is separate from the federal vaccine passport, and British Columbians will eventually be required to have both if they are looking to travel by plane or train this year.
"If you want to travel… you're going to require a federal card," Horgan said Thursday.
He added that the province was working with the federal government on a way to make the province's vaccine card, and the federal government's vaccine passport, align – possibly into a single item.
"You're going to need two at the moment," he said.
The premier said Thursday that B.C.'s vaccine card will still work for domestic travel within Canada in the short term.
Within B.C., the province's vaccine card system, which is required to access some non-essential activities like restaurants, movies and sporting events, remains unchanged.