COVID update for September 16, 2020

This COVID update was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative

Firstly, some news from a village on the Sunshine Coast, about 26 kms south of Cortes Island by water.

photo credit: the virus that causes COVID-19 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Outbreak among the Tla’amin Nation

The number of confirmed COVID cases among the Tla’amin Nation has now reached 28. Another 21 people were tested yesterday and the results flown to Vancouver. The village is in lock down until 5 PM Thursday, when the results of the tests are known. 

Children and educational support staff are being kept home from school. 

Groceries are only obtainable by delivery. Telephone orders are being received at the Stockpile Market, Quality Foods, Pacific Market Point and Save on Foods. The Wildwood Public House is delivering take-out to the village. A free food hamper is being offered to those who need it. 

On Monday, the band issued a statement explaining the need for this lockdown. 

“To some, this seemed like a drastic measure. Yet, every day … we have seen more and more of our relatives testing positive and confirming that they too have been impacted.

“We recognize that the Order is making some people feel anxious, sad, and angry. We are worried about our families and how our kids will be treated when then return to school. Not being allowed to leave the village reminds many of us of a time when our movements were policed by outsiders. Our leadership and frontline workers share these feelings with you.”

Chief Clint Williams has also expressed concerns about the effects that heavy smoke, due to wildfires raging in the United States, is having on sick band members who tested positive and are recovering at home.

Currently no outbreaks on Vancouver Island

In related news, Island Health reports there are currently “no COVID-19 outbreaks” at their facilities. The most up to date data for Vancouver Island was posted yesterday, at which point there were a total of 12 active cases. As there are close to 900,000 people on the island, only one out of every 73,000 people are currently infected. None of these were hospitalized.

Top photo credit: Sunset in Powell River, just south of the Tla’amin village – by Rum Bucolic Ape via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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