B.C. First Nation declares state of emergency due to COVID-19 outbreak


The Tla’amin First Nation on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast has declared a state of emergency and issued a shelter-in-place order for 72 hours due to four lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community.

The order went into effect Tuesday at 5 p.m. PT and requires residents to stay home — or wherever they were at the time the order was issued — until Friday.

Tla’amin Nation leaders posted several statements online notifying residents of emergency measures that have been put in place as they work with provincial health authorities and the First Nations Health Authority to deal with the outbreak. 

In addition to the four confirmed cases, several other people in the community are exhibiting symptoms, according to the Tla’amin Nation’s notice. 

The Tla’amin Nation, located north of Powell River, says it has 1,100 members, with more than 60 per cent of them under the age of 40.

Hegus Clint Williams, a Tla’amin leader, said a “community lockdown” is necessary to help prevent the aggressive spread of the virus. 

“We ask our community members to abide by and be respectful of this lockdown and we also ask our friends and neighbours to respect this as well, by not having any unnecessary visits within our community.”

Parents are asked to keep their children home for the remainder of the week.

The First Nation is taking other precautions, such as limiting access to the community to a single entry point. 

Vancouver Coastal Health issued a warning letter Tuesday to people who attended a wake on Sept. 3 and a funeral on Sept. 4 to notify them of possible exposure to COVID-19.

The First Nation plans to issue a daily update at 4 p.m. on its website and Facebook page during the state of emergency to provide members with advice and guidance.

Read more at CBC.ca