VICTORIA -- Health officials identified 22 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Friday afternoon.

The cases were among 508 new cases found across B.C. over the past 24 hours, bringing the provincial total to 75,835 cases since the pandemic began.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and deputy provincial health officer Dr. Réka Gustafson said six more people in the province had died of the disease since Thursday, bringing the provincial COVID-19 death toll to 1,327.

Four of the deaths announced Friday were in the Interior Health region and two were in Fraser Health.

“On behalf of the premier and I think everyone in B.C., I want to pass on my condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of the six people who have passed away,” said Dix.

The Island Health region has now recorded 2,068 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

There are 177 active cases of COVID-19 in the island region, including 18 people in hospital and seven in critical care. Island Health officials identified the locations of 159 active COVID-19 cases Friday, including 96 in the Central Island, 43 in the South Island and 20 in the North Island.

Health officials have now administered 192,942 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 36,923 secondary doses.

“Yesterday is the highest number of doses (that) were administered in any single day – 12,252 people received a COVID-19 vaccine,” Gustafson said. Most of those vaccines were secondary doses, Dix added.

The deputy health officer said outbreaks are in decline in the province’s care homes, but stressed that outbreaks have not been eliminated yet.

“With highly effective vaccines being administered throughout B.C., we have every reason to feel encouraged,” she said. “I really would like to thank all British Columbians at this time in the pandemic for having persevered.”

Dix said B.C.’s vaccine rollout has so far been executed in a way that “should inspire confidence” in all British Columbians.

The health minister said people over 80 years old in B.C. should expect to be vaccinated between March 15 and the end of the month, while those who receive in-home care will be vaccinated between March 1 and March 15.