Vancouver Island adds 96 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths in 24 hours

British Columbia health officials identified 96 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Friday.

The new cases were among 405 cases found across the province over the past 24 hours.

There are currently 3,071 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including 646 active cases in the Vancouver Island region, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Island Health continues to have the second highest number of active cases in B.C., behind the Fraser Health region, where 990 cases are active Friday, according to the province.

Vancouver Island's top doctor told CTV News on Thursday that the island's recent surge in new and active cases was partly caused by a religious gathering in the Courtenay area last week.

Island Health data identified the locations of 577 active cases Friday, including 128 in the South Island, 248 in the Central Island and 201 in the North Island.

Six deaths related to COVID-19 were confirmed in B.C. over the past 24 hours, including two that occurred in the island region.

Three other deaths were reported in Fraser Health and one was in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Since the pandemic began, 2,351 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in B.C., including 124 deaths confirmed in the Island Health region.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, 44 people are in hospital for treatment of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, including 14 patients who require critical care.

As of Friday, 85.1 per cent of eligible British Columbians have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 81.8 per cent have receive two doses.

Between Nov. 25 and Dec. 1, people who are not vaccinated accounted for 54 per cent of the province's COVID-19 cases, despite only making up approximately 15 per cent of British Columbians.

From Nov. 18 to Dec. 1, people who are not vaccinated also accounted for 61.4 per cent of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in B.C.