Lake Babine Nation has declared a state of emergency, banning non-essential travel, visiting and gatherings of any kind, in all its five communities … Fort Babine, Old Fort, Tachet, Donald’s Landing, and Woyenne … until November 5, 2021.
The declaration comes as the area is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 numbers with two to three members per day testing positive. There are at least 12 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and many members are awaiting test results, according to a statement posted on the band’s website.
COVID-19 is impacting young and healthy Lake Babine members like never before and unvaccinated members are getting sicker and staying sicker for longer periods, it said. The nation has lost at least six members to the virus.
“The virus can’t move on its own, it needs people to move it,” said Murphy Abraham, Chief of Lake Babine Nation. “As we approach Thanksgiving, we need to stop this virus in its tracks. Today’s declaration bans all non-essential travel and visiting until this outbreak is under control.”
Lake Babine Nation Emergency Operations Centre (E.O.C.) is observing more transmission among children onto to unvaccinated adults, including those with compromised health.
“While our children have been able to fight the virus effectively, that’s not always true for the parents and grandparents they are passing it to,” said E.O.C. Director, Bernard Patrick. “The common thread is gatherings. Transmission is happening while travelling, visiting, and attending funerals and potlatches.”
The state of emergency also orders all members who have tested positive for COVID-19 or live with someone who has tested positive to stay home and isolate. Lake Babine Nation has services and supports available for members to isolate and recover at home including groceries, medications and other essential items.
Deputy Chief Derek McDonald, who recently overcame his own battle with COVID-19 said: “We cannot risk losing anymore members to this virus. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and available for our members.”