Lake Babine Nation issues COVID numbers update

Urges members to follow provincial health orders

Lake Babine Nation closure sign

Lake Babine Nation issued a message notifying its members of the total COVID-19 cases in the community and highlighted the provincial health orders yet again.

As of Jan. 19, there are 48 lab confirmed cases in Woyenne and one lab confirmed case in Tachet since September 2020. There have been 25 lab confirmed off reserve cases since May 2020 and 31 cases of individuals who were not tested but were deemed positives due to being direct contacts. There also are currently eight active cases with the majority of the cases occurring in mid-December 2020 and early January 2021.

“With all of these cases, we found that a majority of the transmission occurred because of gatherings and visitations with a few of the confirmed cases whether it was house parties, getting together for dinners, birthday parties, or funerals. Some even knew they were sick but still went around in public,” said the announcement.

The announcement also highlighted the provincial health orders and urged its members to consider potential risks in giving rides to people not within their own household as there have been cases of members transmitting to others when giving rides. Community members are also urged to be truthful about their sickness. “We are finding a lot of people are not letting anyone know of their sickness due to reasons such as not wanting to isolate or miss out on paychecks when they have to self-isolate or simply that they don’t want to be judged or criticized,” read the message.

The announcement further shared some information they received from health officials, on the two new variants from United Kingdom and South Africa.

“The UK variant is known to transmit from person to person a lot faster and the South Africa variant can escape the antibodies that is in the vaccine and both have been confirmed in individuals in Prince George recently which is quite alarming,” it said and went on to encourage members from refraining from any non-essential traveling to areas such as Prince George, including non-emergency medical appointments.

“We don’t discourage the members to continue with medical appointments but if it is something that can wait or it is not an emergency then consider postponing to another date,” read the announcement.

A total of 92,369 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered province-wide as of Tuesday.

Provincially, B.C.’s cases as of Wednesday were at 500 new cases with 216 cases in the Fraser Health region, 125 in Vancouver Coastal, 91 in Interior Health (Okanagan and Kootenay region), 35 in Northern Health and 32 on Vancouver Island. There are 329 people in hospital with coronavirus-related conditions, 70 in intensive care.

There were 14 more deaths reported, for a total of 1,14 since the pandemic began early last year.

The provincial health order of mandatory masks is still in effect as is the ban on social gatherings. People can only have small gatherings if they live in the same house and no gatherings of any size at any time such as dinners or parties or any other events that promotes gatherings is allowed.

ALSO READ: Lake Babine Nation receives Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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