Vancouver Island adds 7 new COVID-19 cases on anniversary of B.C.'s first coronavirus death
A sign outside a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the University of Victoria. (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- The number of daily COVID-19 cases recorded on Vancouver Island dipped significantly Tuesday, after health officials announced just seven new cases of the disease.
The cases were among 550 found across the province over the past 24 hours, according to a joint statement from provincial health office Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.
There are currently 246 active cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region, including 14 people in hospital for treatment of the virus and one more receiving critical care.
Island Health has released the locations of 214 of the active cases. As of Tuesday, there are 47 in the South Island, 116 in the Central Island and 51 in the North Island.
Two people died of COVID-19 Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of the first person to die of the disease in B.C., bringing the province's death toll to 1,393.
"Today marks a sombre milestone: one year since the first person in British Columbia died as a result of COVID-19," said Dix and Henry. "Today, we pause and remember everyone who has died from this virus and offer our condolences to those who have lost their loved ones."
Neither of the deaths recorded Tuesday were reported in the Vancouver Island region, where the death toll remains at 28.
On Vancouver Island, health officials have recorded 2,594 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
Over the past 24 hours, B.C. has confirmed 182 new variant of concern COVID-19 cases. The province has now recorded a total of 576 variant cases, 113 of which are currently considered active.
The majority of the cases, 530, are the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 33 cases are the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 13 cases are the P.1 (Brazil) variant.
Meanwhile, B.C. has administered 10,054 more COVID-19 vaccine doses Tuesday, for a total of 343,381 doses, including 86,938 second doses.
B.C. call lines remain open for anyone aged 90 or older to book a vaccine appointment. Indigenous people over the age of 65 and people who are calling on behalf of a senior can also contact the call centres.
Health officials urge people not to call the vaccine phonelines unless they are in the correct age bracket.
"Through the loss and uncertainty that has come with this pandemic, we have seen incredible resilience, as people throughout our province have adapted to the challenges COVID-19 has brought," said Henry and Dix.
"Now, with every new person who is vaccinated, we can take comfort in knowing with each immunization, we all benefit – Elders, seniors, families and communities."
One new COVID-19 health-care outbreak was reported at a long-term care home in the Fraser Health region. Meanwhile, two outbreaks were declared over, including one at a long-term care facility on Vancouver Island.
There are now 17 active health-care outbreaks across the province, none of which are located in the Island Health region.