Island records 35 new COVID cases, details of B.C.'s vaccination plan expected Monday

Island Health reported 35 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, as cases in the central and north regions continue to spike.

Province-wide, there were 456 new cases of COVID-19.

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The province also announced two more COVID-related deaths, for a total of 1,338 in B.C. There have been 24 on the Island.

The details of the province’s mass-vaccination plan, at least with respect to people age 80 and older, are expected to be announced on Monday.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said vaccinating the 4.3 million people who are eligible will be a “monumental” task that has to take into account the diversity of the province’s geography and population.

“We must consider how to safely deliver vaccine to rural and remote communities, how to connect with seniors and elders everywhere, and how to ensure the process to get immunized is as simple as possible,” Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. “We are pushing hard right now, and we must continue to balance speed with the need for careful thought and planning.”

As of Wednesday, 230,875 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the province, 62,608 of which were second doses.

No new health-care facility outbreaks were announced, although outbreaks at Wexford Creek and Eden Gardens long-term care homes in Nanaimo continue. The majority of residents and staff in long-term care homes throughout the province have been vaccinated.

From Tuesday to Wednesday there were an additional 108 cases in Vancouver Coastal, 259 new cases in Fraser Health which has seen the highest numbers in recent months, 35 in Island Health, 30 in the Interior Health region, and 20 in Northern Health.

There are 4,668 active cases of COVID-19 in the province — 237 of whom are in hospital, including 64 in intensive care — and another 7,924 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

Island Health has not yet updated its COVID-19 numbers, but on Tuesday there were 232 active cases, 140 of which were in the central region, 52 in the north, and 40 in the south.

Of 78,278 who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the province, 72,219 have recovered.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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