COVID-19 on Vancouver Island: 135 new cases added in past week

Tina Nguyen, a nurse at at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle's International District, takes a nose swab sample from a patient during drive-up testing for COVID-19, Friday, May 15, 2020. As testing supplies for coronavirus have become more abundant, the clinic has been able to offer testing to anyone in the community by appointment if they are experiencing symptoms. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Vancouver Island has added 135 cases of COVID-19 in the past week, averaging nearly 20 new cases per day.

The weekly total caps off a November that saw more than 350 new cases identified in the Island Health region – more than all previous months of the pandemic combined.

There have been 629 cases recorded in the Vancouver Island health region since the pandemic began, up from 494 cases last week.

The largest share of those cases have been identified in the Central Island region, were there were 286 cases recorded as of Tuesday morning. Of those cases, 141 are currently considered active in the region, which includes the municipalities of Tofino, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Parksville, Lake Cowichan and Duncan.

The South Island region, which stretches from Port Renfrew to Greater Victoria and the southern Gulf Islands, has recorded 200 cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began. Fifty-eight of those cases are considered active Tuesday morning.

The sparsely populated North Island, which was home to the bulk of the island’s cases early in the pandemic, now has the fewest reported cases. The region has recorded 143 cases since the pandemic began, including 37 that are now considered active.

There are 236 active cases across the island region Tuesday, approximately 84 more active cases than at this time last week.

Six people in the Vancouver Island region have died of the disease. Six more are currently in hospital and four people are in critical care.

Another 50 people in the island region recovered from the disease in the past week, for a total of 386 recoveries since the pandemic began, according to B.C.’s health ministry.

As of Tuesday morning, a total of 129,521 coronavirus tests had been administered by Island Health.