VICTORIA — Twenty-six new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Vancouver Island region Friday.

The new cases were among 1,001 cases found across the province over the past 24 hours. The Island Health region has now confirmed 4,458 cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

There are currently 354 active cases of the virus in the Vancouver Island region, including 30 people who are in hospital for treatment, and two more who are receiving critical care.

Island Health identified the locations of 301 active cases Friday, including 190 in the South Island, 79 in the Central Island, and 32 in the North Island.

Four more people have died of COVID-19 in B.C., bringing the province’s pandemic death toll to 1,554.

No deaths were reported in the island region, where 34 people have died since the pandemic began.

New public health order takes effect

Friday’s update comes as B.C. announces new travel restrictions across the province. British Columbians are now required to stay within their health authority or risk fines for non-essential travel.

For the purposes of travel, the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health authorities are considered one region, while the Interior and Northern Health authorities are also considered one region under the temporary health order, which is in effect until May 25,

Vancouver Island continues to fall under a single health authority, according to health officials. B.C. has now administered 1,542,066 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 88,663-second doses.

Health officials are urging British Columbians to register for their COVID-19 vaccine. Starting today, all B.C. adults can register for their vaccine online, which will notify users when their age cohort is eligible for immunization.

“The message remains the same – by staying in our local communities, we will prevent the spread of this virus and move forward together to a time when it is behind us,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix in a joint statement Friday.

“Now is the time to stay close to home and to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible, to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe,” they said.