Vancouver Island adds 100 new COVID-19 cases

Health officials have identified 100 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Monday.

The new cases were among 1,889 new COVID-19 cases found across the province over the past 48 hours.

On Sunday, 999 cases were identified across B.C., and on Monday, 890 new cases were confirmed.

The Vancouver Island region has now confirmed 3,624 cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

Between April 1 and April 5, 23 people died of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the province's death toll to 1,486.

Since April 1, B.C. has confirmed 916 new COVID-19 variant cases. The province has now identified 3,559 variant cases, 588 of which are currently active.

"We know this virus is constantly changing and some of the new variants can spread more easily, but the same measures we know can still stop the spread and we have safe and effective vaccines on our side now," said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement Monday.

"It is more important than ever to stay on track with our vaccination programs, continue to use all our layers of protection all the time and follow the provincial health orders and guidelines," said the pair.

B.C. has now administered 893,590 COVID-19 vaccine doses, including 87,472 second doses.

On Tuesday, the province will unveil its vaccine website, which will allow British Columbians to book their immunization appointments online.

At the same time, the province will streamline its vaccine phonelines, consolidating the call centre to one telephone number, rather than having separate call centres per health authority.

The new call centre and website will launch at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The call centre can be contacted 1-833-838-2323, and the website can be found at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated.

Starting Tuesday, British Columbians aged 71 and older, and Indigenous people aged 18 and older can register for their vaccine. People who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable can also book their immunization appointment.

People not in these cohorts are asked not to contact the vaccine call centre or website until their age group begins vaccinations.

Over the past four days, more than 4,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in B.C., according to health officials.

Health officials continue to urge everyone to refrain from non-essential travel, avoid indoor gatherings and stay home if feeling ill.

"If anyone in your family or household is feeling unwell, get tested and stay home from school or work," said Dix and Henry.

"Now is not the time to bend the rules – it’s time for us to work together again to bend the curve."