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

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Curl B.C. chairperson Teri Palynchuk is this year’s winner of the Janette Robbins Award for leadership. Palynchuk is pictured here with the Curling Canada Foundation Cup along with past chairperson Peter Muir, left, and Curl B.C. CEO Scott Braley. (Photo courtesy Curl B.C.)
Nanaimo curling exec wins Curl B.C. leadership award

Teri Palynchuk receives Janette Robbins Award

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Most Read