Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Vancouver Island has reached a milestone in the fight against the novel coronavirus, becoming the first health region in the province to have no COVID-19 test-positive cases since it touched down here in January.

The latest data released Thursday (June 4), no longer lists the sole confirmed current case of novel coronavirus in the region. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that afternoon that there were no new COVID-19 related deaths to report, pointing to the likelihood the person recovered.

Henry has spent the past month urging people to continue practising physical distancing, keeping their “pandemic bubble” small and frequently washing hands despite numbers being low. After a number of single-digit days, the new case count spiked to 22 out of nowhere recently, demonstrating how difficult the virus can be to contain.

A total of 130 people have tested positive within the Island Health region. That includes 25 confirmed cases within the Central Vancouver Island region, 43 within the Southern Vancouver Island region, and 59 in the northern portion.

Since the pandemic was declared, sparking a provincial state of emergency, Vancouver Island communities have taken various measures to keep transmission rates low.

As a number of First Nations closed their lands to non-nation members, Transport Canada allowed BC Ferries to limit capacity on its vessels to restrict routes from the mainland to essential travel only.

Meanwhile, Royal Jubilee Hospital and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital have been serving as the two primary COVID-19 hospital sites on the Island.

Some communities have also been hit harder than others. Although not declared an official outbreak, but rather a cluster, there have been 30 confirmed cases in Alert Bay. An Alert Bay elder was the first Indigenous person to die from COVID-19, shaking the small Island community.

“This is a tragedy that is beyond just us, it’s a tragedy for all of us,” Henry said at the time. “Our elders in our First Nations communities are culture and history keepers. When they become ill and they die, we all lose, and I want you to know that we feel that collective loss today.”

The spike in cases sparked quick action by the community, including setting up an Emergency Operations Centre and got hold of the cluster.

READ MORE: COVID-19 cases go from 30 to zero thanks to health and emergency planning

Across the province, 166 people have died from the contagious respiratory illness – which has no cure or vaccine – with 96 of those fatalities being seniors in long-term or assisted living facilities.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and Henry routinely offer their continued condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the pandemic.

Moving ahead, as B.C. looks to enter Phase Three in its multi-phase reopening plan, Henry has warned that there will likely be some restrictions in place until a vaccine is created and made widely available.

Historically, pandemics often include more than one wave – with COVID-19 anticipated to return in the fall when other respiratory illnesses typically see a resurgence after the summer.

READ MORE: A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Police searching for missing Lake Country man

David Anthony Jenken, 65, was reported missing Friday and was last seen on June 28

Vernon high school volleyball player makes national team

Liam Remple has been named to the U19 Men’s Team Canada Volleyball roster

Okanagan Realtors donate big to North Westside fire department

Two Kelowna-area Realtors made a generous donation to the North Westside Fire… Continue reading

Water quality advisory rescinded for Vernon users

Emergency repairs on a water main resulted in water quality advisory

SilverStar security recovers stolen bike

Reminders to residents to keep bicycles locked up, eyes open for suspicious activity

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Princeton high school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Bench plaque recognizes former Summerland firefighter

Volunteers with fire department set up plaque in honour of Richard Estabrooks

Most Read