Vancouver Island records 167 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths over weekend
VICTORIA -- B.C. health officials identified 167 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region over the weekend.
The new cases were among 3,289 cases of COVID-19 found across the province since Friday. Of those cases, 1,283 were reported Saturday, 1,036 were confirmed on Sunday and 970 were identified Monday.
Health officials say 18 people have died of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the province's death toll to 1,513. Two people died of the virus in the Island Health region, where the death toll has now reached 33 since the pandemic began.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry extended her condolences to the families who lost loved ones over the weekend.
"As always we think of those people who have loved ones who've succumbed to covid-19 and we know how challenging it can be to come together," she said.
The Island Health region has now confirmed 4,039 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
There are now 566 active cases in the Vancouver Island region. Island Health identified the locations of 494 active cases Monday, including 275 in the South Island, 191 in the Central Island and 28 in the North Island.
B.C. has now administered 1,112,101 COVID-19 vaccine doses, or nearly 24 per cent of B.C.'s adult population, according to Health Minister Adrian Dix. Of that total, 87,744 were second doses.
Health officials say the province continues to roll out its parallel vaccine program, which focuses on frontline workers or those who find themselves in COVID-19 hotspots.
While vaccine shipment delays have affected the province's frontline immunization plan, first responders, teachers and other childcare staff have still been receiving vaccines, according to Henry.
As of Monday, British Columbians aged 65 or older, Indigenous people aged 18 or older, and those who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable can book their vaccine appointments.
B.C.'s top doctor said that exact data on COVID-19 variants was not available during Monday's update, though she did say that approximately 50 per cent of all active cases are variants of concern.
"This is, I don't need to say, our third wave," said Henry.
"As we face a surge in new cases and hospitalizations, we need to focus on the things that will have the biggest impacts on breaking the chains of transmission and spread," she added.
Henry stressed that people should not be travelling around the province as B.C. wrestles with its third wave, and that British Columbians should only socialize with a consist group of people outdoors.
"If you live in North Vancouver, you should not be travelling to Richmond or Langley," she said.
"If you live in the Lower Mainland, you should not be travelling to the island."