The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until at least Dec. 7 due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until at least Dec. 7 due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.

Klahoose First Nation’s COVID-19 response working

Community testing comes back negative after week of lock down

Measures implemented by the Klahoose First Nation on Cortes Island to stop the spread of COVID-19 are working.

The First Nation is reassessing their containment measures after the latest round of community tests, which have all come back negative. Last week four members had tested positive for the virus, and all members have since been cleared by health officials. The community had implemented lockdown measures and adherence to household bubbles. Community testing and food delivery also helped residents and neighbouring communities stay safe.

“I want to thank our members for taking this seriously and our frontline workers for pulling together to protect not only our village but also the surrounding community” said Chief Kevin Peacey “I also want to remind people that this threat is not over yet, and with case counts rising across B.C. this virus is still at our doorstep.”

The community also suffered the loss of one of their Elders this week. A Facebook live event to share songs and comfort from Tla’amin to Klahoose was held on Dec. 3.

“Our hearts are with the family at this time,” said council member, Michelle Robinson. “Mental health supports are available and members are encouraged to call the health centre for help.”

The state of emergency is set to expire on Dec. 7 in the community. If the situation remains stable, Chief and Council will begin the reopening process. Until then, the village remains closed to non-residents. Residents who are essential workers working outside of the community can return to work if they obtain a clearance letter from their employer.

“We are asking that people who are essential workers and cleared to leave the community for work, please stay in your bubble when you leave, adds Chief Peacey “we have to count on each other to keep everyone safe and protected, following the guidelines, while we are faced with Covid-19.”

Vancouver Island Health Authority Medical Health Officer Charmaine Enns commented “I want to acknowledge the outstanding response from the community and its leaders. You should be proud of your diligence and courage in the face of this adversity.”

RELATED: Klahoose First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

No doubt second wave of COVID-19 will hit Indigenous communities harder: Miller

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