(Image by Doug Clement Photography)

There are finally no active cases of COVID-19 remaining in the Vancouver Island Health Region.

At a press briefing on Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has confirmed that the last remaining virus patient in the Island Health region who was in hospital for several weeks has recovered and been discharged.

With no new cases recorded in VIHA for several weeks, this means the Island is officially COVID-19 free.

For the first time today, the B.C. Ministry of Health released data on COVID-19 case numbers by specific area, rather than just a breakdown of test-positive cases by health region.

According to this new information, southern Vancouver Island appears to have escaped the worst of this pandemic, as the region saw just 43 test-positive cases.

(B.C. Ministry of Health)

In addition, since March 19th, public health officials have also been tracing epidemiologically-linked cases.

These are individuals who were family members or closely linked to known COVID-19 patients and are believed to have contracted the virus but were not tested due to a lack of available tests at the time.

A total of four such epidemiologically-linked COVID-19 cases have been recorded since March 19, three of which were on Vancouver Island. All four of these cases have recovered since then.

Once a serology test is available, Dr. Henry says there are plans to go back and test these epidemiologically-linked patients to confirm whether or not they actually had the virus.

As seen from the above graph, there are several parts of the province that now have no more active cases of COVID-19.

However this does not mean the risk is over.

“We know that people are still moving, there’s still risk out there, and we’re still seeing cases come in from Alberta, the U.S., and other places,” explains Dr. Henry.

So for the time being, public health officials will not be easing restrictions on a regional basis.