COVID-19 in B.C.: Squamish Nation confirms several COVID-19 cases in outbreak

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      A B.C. First Nations community has issued an alert after several COVID-19 cases have been confirmed.

      On August 28, Squamish Nation, in conjunction with the First Nations Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health, issued a public notification that several of its members were confirmed with COVID-19.

      All of the cases were linked to one case on the Capilano IR-5 reserve.

      All individuals have been isolated and are receiving care while close contacts have also been isolated and are being tested, and contact tracing is underway.

      The Squamish Chief reported that 19 individuals had been confirmed with the virus as of August 30 but the number is anticipated to increase.

      Due to some positive individuals being employees of the Nation, all Nation offices have closed for two weeks while non-essential employees will work from home during this period. Visitors won’t be allowed to enter the offices.

      Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms should call 811 to inquire about testing. Symptoms can include fever, sore throat, loss of appetite, chills, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea and vomiting, cough or an exacerbation of chronic cough, headache, muscle aches, shortness of breath, fatigue, runny nose, or diarrhea.

      Meanwhile on August 29, the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority (NVHA) announced that there was a potential COVID-19 exposure involving an individual travelling to the Nass Valey from August 17 to 28.

      Anyone who attended a funeral, memorial, or related events for Joseph Gosnell Sr. in Gitlaxt’aamiks from August 21 to 25 is asked to contact NVHA or your local health authority.

      Information about COVID-19 for Indigenous individuals can be found at the First Nations Health Authority website.

      In other news, the outbreak on Haida Gwaii, announced on July 24, was declared over on August 28.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.