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Island Health says a majority of COVID-19 case counts on Vancouver Island are being found in the Central Island region.

As of Wednesday, the health authority says that 157 of 230 active cases (68 per cent) within Island Health were in the Central Island region.

This area includes Greater Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley, Oceanside, and Alberni-Clayoquot.

In recent weeks, multiple exposures and clusters have been reported at schools in the region, and positive cases have been identified in local grocery stores.

Island Health says that some local areas like Cowichan Valley South have seen a flattening and subsequent bending down of their curve.

However, they added that Greater Nanaimo is continuing a worrying trend, with a rising total in new cases for four consecutive weeks.

According to localized data, Greater Nanaimo saw 93 new cases from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, nearly doubling its previous weekly new case total of 48.

Central Island COVID Island Health
Island Health

The health authority says that there is still no evidence of widespread community transmission, but they have noted an increase in the number of contacts reported by cases.

This suggests that people are gathering more frequently and in larger groups for social purposes.

Island Health says that people should be sticking to their own households, and even small gatherings can increase the risk of transmission.

The health authority also says walking with an individual outside of your household is acceptable, but outdoor gatherings with multiple households not wearing masks or engaging in distancing are not a safe way to socialize.

Anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms is asked to stay home and get tested. Those who require testing can call 1-844-901-8442 between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.

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