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

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

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
RCMP: Small tin saved Trail man from stabbing

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

School District 8 is asking the education ministry to stop making the Foundation Skills Assessment data public. File photo
Kootenay Lake School District requests education ministry make annual student assessments private

The district is concerned the data is being misused by the Fraser Institute

Castlegar City Council at a pre-COVID meeting. File photo
Castlegar city council issues message to the community

“It’s more important than ever to come together and … ensure Castlegar is a great place to live.”

Zoey Uniat is now three months old. Photo: Submitted
Castlegar baby with rare disorder progressing towards coming home

Fundraiser for Zoey Uniat has raised more than $50,000

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

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

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read