British Columbia is reporting 832 new cases of COVID-19 for the entire province with five additional deaths in that span.
Of the 589 new cases, 53 are linked to the Island Health region. Over the past three days, Island Health has now reported an additional 139 COVID-19 cases within its authority.
Dating back to last Friday, Island Health has reported 336 new cases of the coronavirus.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says that 296 are in hospital – a decrease of 5 since Mar. 31 – with 79 people in critical care as a result of the virus (a decrease of one).
Since Wednesday’s numbers, there have been 310 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 388 in the Fraser Health region, 53 in the Island Health region, 42 in the Interior Health region, 39 in the Northern Health region and zero new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There were five additional deaths related to the virus on Thursday. This brings the provincial death total over the course of the pandemic to 1,463.
There have been 90 new confirmed COVID-19 cases that are variants of concern in the province, for a total of 2,643 cases.
Of the total variant cases, 192 are active and the remaining people have recovered. This includes 2,214 cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K.) variant, 50 cases of the B.1.351 (South Africa) variant and 379 cases of the P.1 (Brazil) variant
Also as of Thursday, the total number of cases in British Columbia over the course of the pandemic has reached 100,880.
Health officials also said, to date, 787,649 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province, 87,394 of which are second doses.
On Wednesday, Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer said he was disappointed to see how many people travelled over spring break.
Dr. Richard Stanwick said those decisions could have a significant impact on variant case numbers in the weeks ahead.
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“Not only were there individuals that likely came from locations with much higher levels of COVID, but we also suspect they also brought a variant version with them in terms of the likelihood,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick.
Right now, none of the variant cases on Vancouver Island are active, but that’s likely about to change, he said.
The province announced on Monday new “circuit-breaker” restrictions aimed at curbing the rapid spread of the virus and its variants of concern, rules that include, among other measures, a temporary three-week ban on indoor dining, indoor group fitness and indoor worship services.
Henry and Dix’s news conference comes on the same day new eased restrictions surrounding long-term care home and assisted living facility visitation went into effect.
Now, up to two people plus a child will be able to visit their loved ones for a minimum of 60 minutes.
According to the latest data provided by Island Health, there are currently 392 active cases on Vancouver Island.
Of the active cases, 189 are on southern Vancouver Island, 171 on central Vancouver Island and 32 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 3,376 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 129.3 million. More than 2.82 million deaths have been recorded.