New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 23-30. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 23-30. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)

Case counts encouraging, but Island ‘still vulnerable,’ says health authority

New COVID-19 cases decrease again in almost all areas of Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island further flattened the COVID-19 curve last week.

New cases on the Island dropped by 22 from the week before, according to the latest available data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

For the week of May 23-29, only two local health areas saw new case counts go up, while six areas saw cases go down.

Notably, the Comox Valley dipped from 15 new cases the week before to seven new cases, and Sooke and Western Communities dropped from 20 new cases the week before to 12. Greater Victoria increased from 13 new cases to 20. Greater Nanaimo saw the most new cases on the Island again last week with 22, but that was down from 26 the week before.

Island Health’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Richard Stanwick, was asked about the Island’s encouraging case numbers at a press conference last week and suggested there were a few contributing factors.

He said Vancouver Island has has “amazing success” with limiting the number of COVID-19 deaths at long-term care facilities to three. He said Island Health has “one of the best licensing programs in the province,” investigating more complaints and placing more conditions on facilities.

Controlling COVID-19 at long-term care homes, Stanwick said, allowed Island Health more flexibility and environmental health officers were able to work with Island businesses that remained open during the pandemic.

The doctor also gave kudos to the people of Vancouver Island.

“Not only did we follow restrictions, but just looking at the enthusiasm for controlling this virus and immunization, I think it was a collective effort that brought us to this point,” Stanwick said.

Even though COVID-19 cases are comparatively rare in the health authority, it doesn’t mean the Island will get to open up any earlier than the rest of the province, as Stanwick said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry favours a “single health system approach.”

“We’re still vulnerable…” Stanwick said. “She feels that [eased restrictions] are not sufficiently robust that one health authority could implement them without possibly putting themselves at an increased risk given what’s happening in the rest of the province.”

READ ALSO: Vancouver Island hits half a million first doses of vaccine

The BCCDC reported just two new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island on Tuesday, June 1, after reporting zero new cases on the Island on May 31. There is one COVID-19 patient in critical care on the Island and another six hospitalized.

Earlier this week, the BCCDC released updated vaccination rates as of May 31. The most-vaccinated communities on Vancouver Island, by percentage of adults with at least one dose, were Pender/Galiano/Saturna/Mayne islands, at 88 per cent; Sidney at 85 per cent; North Saanich and the Saanich Peninsula local health area, both at 82 per cent; and Central Saanich and Oak Bay, both at 81 per cent.

The least-vaccinated communities were Cowichan Valley West at 63 per cent, Juan de Fuca Coast at 64 per cent, Sooke at 66 per cent, Nanaimo at 68 per cent, and the Western Communities local health area and Downtown Victoria/Vic West, both at 69 per cent.

READ ALSO: B.C.’s COVID-19 infections below 200 for second day Wednesday

READ ALSO: Stay informed about COVID-19



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Jared Popma recently streamed a live concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. (Ashley Daniel Foot photo)
21-year-old jazz artist talks favourite tunes and joys of music theory

Jared Popma recently streamed a concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Vetch cover crop beginning to flower. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Vetch and crimson clover to the rescue of soil fertility

I add dry organic fertilizer as plants use up what is in the soil.

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read