Vancouver Island adds 56 new COVID-19 cases in final update of the week

B.C. health officials identified another 56 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region Friday.

The cases were among 714 new cases found across the province over the past 24 hours.

There are currently 6,317 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C., including 614 active cases in the island region, according to the B.C. Health Ministry.

Island Health data identified the locations of 536 active cases Friday, including 286 in the South Island, 214 in the Central Island and 36 in the North Island.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, there are currently 33 people in hospital for treatment of COVID-19 in the Island Health region, 21 of whom require critical care.

Over the last 24 hours, 11 people died of COVID-19 in B.C. Four deaths were reported in the Fraser Health region, six deaths were recorded in the Interior Health region and one death was identified in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Since the pandemic began, 1,973 people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., including 70 deaths reported in the Island Health region.

As of Friday, 88 per cent of eligible British Columbians have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 81.1 per cent have received two doses.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS 

Earlier Friday, B.C. Attorney General and Minister for Housing, David Eby, announced that the province was creating 50 new COVID-19 isolation spaces for people who are homeless in Victoria.

The spaces will be added over the coming weeks, after clusters of COVID-19 cases were recorded in local housing facilities.

On Friday morning, health officials also announced that B.C. would be introducing mandatory masks for all students and staff members in the K-12 school system.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and B.C. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside made the announcement at a live new conference Friday morning, as the province sees a surge in COVID-19 cases among school-aged children.