British Columbia is reporting 1,006 new cases of COVID-19 for the entire province with four additional deaths in that span.
Of the 1,006 new cases, 37 are linked to the Island Health region.
Dr. Bonnie Henry says that 502 are in hospital – an increase of 19 since April 21 – with 161 people in critical care as a result of the virus (a decrease of three).
“As we have reported over the last few weeks, the number of hospitalizations and people in ICU continues to be alarming and to rise,” said an emotional Henry. “The pressure on our health care system is immense right now and our health care workers need our help.”
As hospitalizations continue to rise, Dr. Henry acknowledged the hard work of healthcare workers on Thursday, reminding British Columbians of the nightly cheers from last year.
“Many people stood at their doors and windows cheering for our frontline healthcare workers, we knew they were there for us…they are still there for us and have been for the last 15 months,” Henry continued. “Let’s take care of the people who are taking care of us.”
With the rising cases and increasing pressure on the healthcare system, Health Minister Adrian Dix said that in Metro Vancouver hospitals, non-COVID patients needing emergency treatment may be redeployed to Vancouver Island instead of the Lower Mainland.
Dix noted that Vancouver Island hospitals remain “exceptionally” busy, however, because they’ve been doing “record numbers” of surgeries.
Since Wednesday’s numbers, there have been 241 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 600 in the Fraser Health region, 37 in the Island Health region, 83 in the Interior Health region, 42 in the Northern Health region and three new cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
There were four additional deaths related to the virus on Thursday. This brings the provincial death total over the course of the pandemic to 1,550.
Also as of Thursday, the total number of cases in British Columbia over the course of the pandemic has reached 122,757.
Health officials also said, to date, 1,500,430 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province, 88,475 of which are second doses.
Dr. Henry says that as of today, anyone aged 25 and older can register online for their vaccination.
The provincial health officer took a moment during Thursday’s press conference to remind British Columbians about the latest travel regulations, which restricts movement between health authorities.
“Travel will spread the virus further,” said Dr. Henry during the briefing.
“B.C., as we know, is a beautiful province with many amazing places to explore, but for now that means explore your local community, your local area, until it is safe to go further away to other parts of our province.
According to the latest data provided by Island Health, there are currently 307 active cases on Vancouver Island.
Of the active cases, 191 are on southern Vancouver Island, 84 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 4,411 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 144.2 million. More than 3.06 million deaths have been recorded.