Vancouver Island adds 11 new COVID-19 cases, modelling data shows vaccine progress

British Columbia health officials identified 11 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Thursday.

The new cases were among 153 cases found across B.C. over the past 24 hours.

Health officials have now confirmed 146,996 cases of COVID-19 in the province since the pandemic began, including 5,107 cases in the Vancouver Island region.

Four more people have died of COVID-19 in the province, health officials announced Thursday, bringing B.C.'s pandemic death toll to 1,729.

Two of the deaths were recorded in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and the other two were recorded in the Fraser Health region.

“One of those people [was] in their 50s, one in their 60s and two were people who were over 80 years of age,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

There have been 41 deaths in the Vancouver Island region since the pandemic began.

There are currently 75 active cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region, including two people in hospital, but no one in critical care.

Island Health identified the locations of 49 active cases Thursday, including 31 in the South Island, 10 in the Central Island and eight in the North Island.

Approximately 74.9 per cent of adults in B.C. have now received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 72.8 per cent of people aged 12 and older have been vaccinated.

“This equates to about 325,000 immunizations every week in the last few weeks,” said Henry.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the province is also making “some significant progress” in administering second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the province’s senior population.

The health minister said 24 per cent of British Columbians aged 70 and above have now received a second dose, while 17 per cent of those 60 and above have received a second dose, and 14 per cent of those 50 and above have had a second dose.

Henry said the province is “in a good position to continue safely moving forward with our restart plan,” adding, “we’ll be talking more about that next week.” 

NEW MODELLING DATA

New provincial modelling data released Thursday reveals that while case numbers remain low on Vancouver Island, some communities continue to see higher infection rates than others.

The region of Cowichan Valley West leads the pack of Island Health areas with the highest average daily new cases, with approximately two new cases per 100,000 people, according to health ministry data sampled between June 1 and June 7.

Greater Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula had the second-highest rates of new daily infections with approximately one case per 100,000 people, followed by Greater Nanaimo with roughly 0.5 new cases per 100,000 people.

The Saanich Peninsula currently leads the way with the highest percentage of vaccinated adults on Vancouver Island. As of June 7, the region had an 85 per cent adult vaccination rate, besting Greater Victoria’s 80 per cent vaccination rate and Oceanside’s 78 per cent.

Adult vaccination rates on Vancouver Island as of June 7:

  • Saanich Peninsula – 85%
  • Greater Victoria – 80%
  • Oceanside – 78%
  • Cowichan Valley North – 77%
  • Western Communities – 75%
  • Comox Valley – 74%
  • Alberni/Clayoquot – 73%
  • Cowichan Valley West – 66%