Vancouver Island adds 25 new COVID-19 cases; residents over 30 can register for vaccine

British Columbia health officials identified 25 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Wednesday.

The new cases were among 862 cases identified across the province over the past 24 hours, bringing the B.C. total to 121,751 cases since the pandemic began.

The Vancouver Island region has now recorded 4,395 cases of the coronavirus in that time.

Seven more people have died from the illness, health officials announced Wednesday, bringing the province’s pandemic death toll to 1,546. None of the recent deaths were recorded on Vancouver Island, where the pandemic has killed 33 people.

There are now 376 active COVID-19 cases in the island region, including a record-breaking 31 people in hospital and four more in critical care.

Island Health identified the locations of 307 active cases Wednesday, including 188 in the South Island, 84 in the Central Island and 35 in the North Island.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced Wednesday that British Columbians aged 30 and older can now register for a vaccine through the province’s age-based program.

Residents 40 and older can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine through the separate immunization stream at local pharmacies.

“For each person who gets vaccinated, we are all safer,” Dix and Henry said in a joint statement.

“When your turn comes up for one of the three vaccines, it is your turn to go. We strongly urge you to book your appointment as soon as you can. This is one of the important ways for you to do your part,” they added.

The health officials reminded British Columbians that health-care workers and hospitals are under added pressure due to the coronavirus, and urged everyone to follow public health orders.

Health officials have now administered 1,456,946 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 88,335 secondary doses.