Vancouver Island adds 19 new COVID-19 cases as vaccinations ramp up

Provincial health officials identified 19 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Tuesday.

The new cases were among 697 cases found across the province over the past 24 hours.

The Island Health region has now recorded 4,745 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

There are now 257 active cases in the island region, including 16 people in hospital and five in critical care.

Island Health identified the locations of 203 active cases Tuesday, including 102 in the South Island, 79 in the Central Island and 22 in the North Island.

One more person in B.C. has died of the disease, health officials revealed Tuesday, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,597.

B.C. has now administered 1,910,162 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 92,224 secondary doses.

The province is following through on its promised acceleration of vaccinations this week.

“Today, we are adding pregnant persons 16 and older to those who are eligible to book their vaccine,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a statement Tuesday. “If you are pregnant, this is your time. Please register, then call 1 833 383-2323 and let them know you are pregnant to book your appointment.”

The health officials said priority bookings for pregnant people are not currently available online.

“With each person who is vaccinated, we are all safer,” Dix and Henry said. “Let’s continue to do our part – to get vaccinated when it is our turn, use our layers of protection and follow all of the public health measures we have in place.” 

Henry said Monday that B.C. had reached a "new and encouraging point in our vaccine supply," with more than one million doses of vaccine expected to arrive in the province this month.