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COVID-19: Officials deal with outbreak at Canim Lake

Recent news concerning a rapid increase in COVID-19 exposures in the Cariboo Chilcotin region highlights the speed in which the virus can spread and the importance of efforts to reduce the risk to all community members.

The Canim Lake Band, District of 100 Mile House, and Cariboo Regional District are in close communication at this time ­­– to ensure a coordinated and effective response to the evolving situation in our area. Here are some key pieces of information for people in the South Cariboo:

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared for the Tsq’escenemc (Canim Lake Indian Band)

The declaration was issued in recognition of the level of exposures in the community. Making an official declaration allows for a collective response on the part of government and additional resources to support the community.

The Canim Lake Band has closed its borders

Limiting outside contact with exposed communities is a key tactic in reducing the spread of the virus. By closing its borders the Tsq’escenemc community can better serve its members and reduce the risk of transmission to outside visitors. Everyone is asked to respect the closure and postpone non-essential/unapproved trips in or out of the community for the time being.

Band members who have tested positive are being supported

People with COVID-19 in the Canim Lake Band have been directed to isolate at home with support from the community’s health services. Essentials such as food and prescriptions are being picked up by band members who are deemed healthy and then delivered to impacted households.

Vaccinations are on the way

COVID-19 vaccine has been prioritized for Tsq’escenemc residents to start immunization this week to decrease the rate of transmission.

School is closed

Eliza Archie Memorial School at Canim Lake is closed at this time to reduce the risk of further spread.

Support and inspections are ongoing

Interior Health public health staff are visiting the community to provide general support, continually assess the situation, and perform inspections as required.

What can you do?

Tsq’escenemc values are to look after all: respect one another and help one another. Sharing this approach is a great way for everyone in the community to contribute positively to a challenging situation. We are asking everyone to abide by public health directives, avoid speculation and rumour, and maintain the protective measures such as masks and social distancing that can slow the spread of the virus.

As the previous year has demonstrated, fighting COVID-19 is a marathon effort rather than a quick sprint to immunity. In particular, there are elders and children in the community and beyond who need our support more than ever.

Kindness, tolerance, and generosity of spirit are never out of place. Now is no exception. The lock-down measures taken by the Tsq’escenemc benefit our entire community, reduce the potential burden on limited healthcare resources, and will assist Canim Lake members to stay healthy and have the capacity to take care of themselves. We ask that you support them in this difficult time.

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