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

Just Posted

Metchosin to test tsunami notification on Thursday evening

Approximately 80 to 100 residents in tsunami-zone

Sooke Crisis Centre closes doors

Services previously offered to be dispersed throughout community support groups

New affordable homes on the way in Sooke

Eight new affordable rental homes to be built at Hope Centre

CRD explores option to use Oak Bay Lodge for people who are homeless

Motion asks staff to work with BC Housing, Island Health on possibilities

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read