Eighteen new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Vancouver Island region Wednesday.
The new cases were among 521 cases found across the province over the past 24 hours.
There are currently 167 active cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Island region, including 11 people in hospital and three more receiving critical care.
Island Health identified the locations of 120 active cases Wednesday, including 35 in the South Island, 55 in the Central Island and 30 in the North Island.
B.C. has now reported 140,596 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, including 4,971 identified in the Vancouver Island region.
Health officials say eight more people have died of COVID-19, bringing the province’s death toll to 1,658. No deaths were reported in the island region, where 40 people have died since the pandemic began.
B.C. has now administered 2,623,907 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 135,246 second doses.
Earlier Wednesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that vaccine registration had opened up for children aged 12 and older. If youth who register receive an appointment date, they are welcome to get their vaccine shot, he said.
The vaccine appointments are expected to take place at vaccination clinics, not schools, for most urban areas. Dix said further details on the youth vaccine rollout will be announced Thursday.
As of 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, B.C. health officials had yet to release a statement on the updated case numbers.
Health officials continue to urge all British Columbians to register for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“If you have yet to book your first dose of vaccine, go online today and join the millions of people who have received their vaccine or booked their appointment for the coming days,” said Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in a joint statement.
“Help us put the pandemic behind us by staying small and local, and ensuring you are registered and booked for your vaccine today,” said the pair.
B.C. residents can register for a vaccine appointment online here.