VICTORIA, B.C. – The Northern Health region added 31 new cases on Wednesday, moving the active case count to 217.

There are 15 people in hospital, seven of whom are in critical care.

There have been a total of 269 COVID-19 deaths in the region.

Out of 18,120 cases since last March, 17,268 have since recovered.

There were 1,419 vaccine doses given in the region since Tuesday, moving the total dose count to 412,928. Of those, 185,948 are second doses and 24,665 are other doses.

The province added 584 cases on Wednesday, moving the active case count to 3,458.

There are 193 people in hospital,  77 of whom are in critical care.

There were seven COVID-19 deaths since Tuesday, moving the provincial total to 2,393.

Out of 224,245 cases since last spring, 218,295 have since recovered.

At a media availability on Wednesday afternoon, Health Minister Adrian Dix said “it’s time to exercise caution in all that we do,” referring to the rise of the Omicron variant in the province.

Dix says there were meetings on Wednesday to discuss possible new public health orders. He urged residents to avoid unnecessary travel.

“There will be other trips, but you only have one life.”

Dix says there will be a rapid testing plan released next week. The province has been waiting for at-home tests since November, but they haven’t arrived in large enough numbers.