British Columbia is reporting 589 new cases of COVID-19 for the entire province with seven additional deaths in that span.
Of the 589 new cases, 31 are linked to the Island Health region.
This marks the fifth straight day that health officials have reported over 30 cases in the Island Health region.
Dating back to last Friday, Island Health has reported 241 new cases of COVID-19.
With reported cases climbing over 600, today marked the highest single-day number since January 7 when health officials announced 761 new cases.
There are currently 4,665 active cases in British Columbia, while 8,040 residents remain under active public health monitoring.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says that 232 are in hospital – an increase of 4 since Feb. 25 – with 63 people in critical care as a result of the virus (an increase of one).
Since Thursday’s numbers, there have been 157 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 317 in the Fraser Health region, 31 in the Island Health region, 39 in the Interior Health region, 45 in the Northern Health region and zero new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There were seven additional deaths related to the virus on Friday. This brings the provincial death total over the course of the pandemic to 1,348.
Also as of Friday, the total number of cases in British Columbia over the course of the pandemic has reached 79,262.
Health officials also said, to date, 252,373 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province, 73,808 of which are second doses.
On Friday, it was revealed by Health Canada that a third vaccine has now been approved for use across the country. The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used immediately on people over 18, guidance in line with authorizations from the United Kingdom, the European Medicine Agency and the World Health Organization.
“This is very encouraging news for everyone in British Columbia,” reads a joint statement from Dr. Henry and Adrian Dix, regarding the new vaccine approval.
“Unlike the vaccines that have been available to date, this new, two-dose viral vector vaccine has the benefit of being ‘fridge stable,’ making it much easier to transport and distribute around the province.”
Dr. Henry and Dix say that delivery and supply of the new vaccine will be coordinated in the coming weeks and it will be integrated into the immunization program accordingly.
“The additional supply will allow us to look at accelerating immunization of priority populations and essential workers,” note health officials.
According to the latest data provided by Island Health, there are currently 260 active cases on Vancouver Island.
Of the active cases, 35 are on southern Vancouver Island, 161 on central Vancouver Island and 64 on northern Vancouver Island.
Southern Vancouver Island includes the Greater Victoria region, Southern Gulf Islands and the Port Renfrew area.
Central Vancouver Island includes the Cowichan Valley, Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville, Port Alberni and Tofino areas.
Northern Vancouver Island goes from the Comox Valley to Port Hardy but also includes surrounding areas like Alert Bay and Sointula.
Over the course of the pandemic, the Island Health region has reported 2,303 cases.
More COVID-19 information
If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, public health contacts affected school community members directly. Regional health authorities also post-school notifications on their websites, providing the date and type of notification (outbreak, cluster or exposure) for impacted schools.
The Island Health school site can be found here.
Provincial mental health and anxiety support can be found at www.bouncebackbc.ca
Island Health’s COVID-19 data breaks down North, Central and South Island case counts and lists the number of days since any new lab-diagnosed cases. You can find the data here along with any public exposures.
According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is more than 113.2 million. More than 2.51 million deaths have been recorded.