Vancouver Island adds 220 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths over weekend

Health officials identified 220 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region over the weekend, according to the B.C. Ministry of Health.

The new cases were among 1,984 cases of COVID-19 found across the province over the past three days, including 823 cases found Saturday, 641 cases identified Sunday and 520 cases reported Monday.

There are now 5,825 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C., including 607 active cases in the Vancouver Island region, according to the B.C. Ministry of Health.

Island Health identified the locations of 528 active cases Monday, including 210 in the South Island, 249 in the Central Island and 69 in the North Island.

There were nine more deaths from COVID-19 reported in B.C. on Monday, including two deaths in the Island Health region.

Since the pandemic began, 1,865 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., including 56 in the Vancouver Island region.

Twenty-three people are in hospital with COVID-19 on Vancouver Island, including 16 patients in critical care, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Meanwhile, a COVID-19 outbreak at the Sunset Lodge care home in Victoria remains active as of Monday.

Four residents have died of the illness since the outbreak was declared on Aug. 27, while a total of 36 people tested positive for the disease, including 21 residents and 15 staff members.

There are 24 COVID-19 outbreaks currently active at health-care facilities across the province. The Sunset Lodge outbreak is the only active outbreak in the Island Health region as of Monday.

As of Monday, 85.8 per cent of British Columbians aged 12 and older have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 78.4 per cent have received two doses.

Between Sept. 3 and Sept. 9, unvaccinated people accounted for 69.2 per cent of the provinces new COVID-19 cases. Partially vaccinated people made up 8.6 per cent of new cases during this time, while fully vaccinated people accounted for 22.2 per cent of the cases.

NEW HEALTH ORDER

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a new health order Monday that makes vaccination a mandatory condition of employment at all health-care facilities across B.C.

"This includes all workers, students, physicians, residents, contractors and volunteers who work in a health-care facility, including contracted facilities which are accessible to patients and where they receive services," said Henry.

The requirement takes effect on Oct. 26.

The provincial health officer also announced that a small group of severely immunocompromised people in B.C. will soon be offered a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Approximately 15,000 British Columbians will get an invitation by text or email this week to attend a clinic to receive a third dose. The high-risk group includes organ transplant recipients, those being treated for some forms of cancer and those who have received bone marrow or stem cell transplants.

Henry said 120,000 other British Columbians who are considered moderately immunocompromised may be asked to get a third vaccine dose later this month or in early October.