Lake Babine Nation’s vaccine rollout resumed after they faced an early hiccup when a member of their care team tested positive for the virus.
Violet Findlay was part of the team helping with the community elders. In a Facebook post from Monday, Findlay talked about how she was not feeling well and how it all just hit her “like a ton of bricks.” She also spoke about body aches and ongoing cough. Two days later, her post read “Well my test came back positive, I am so heart broken, I don’t ever get sick, please people stay home.”
Findlay notified the health team as soon as she found out about her test. The immunizations were temporarily halted after Findlay’s test came back positive, according to Lake Babine Nation Deputy Chief Derek MacDonald.
“Violet Findlay was part of the team to help set up our elders and make sure they get their vaccines. As a precautionary measure, when we found out that she had tested positive, we decided to take precautionary actions and sanitize the area. The nursing team that are supposed to do the vaccinations are self-monitoring but all of this is just precautions,” said MacDonald.
In a Jan. 7 Facebook update, MacDonald had said that since September 2020, Woyenne has had 40 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 16 unconfirmed cases. Lake Babine Nation has put up checkpoints and has been closed to outsiders. Off-reserve members were also not allowed on the reserves during holidays.
Almost 50 residents have now been identified as being eligible for the vaccine.
On Friday, the emergency operations committee had a meeting to decide whether to resume the vaccinations the same day or a week later.
“We have been given a green light and on Friday, the vaccinations will happen in the small community of Tatchet,” said MacDonald.
“The vaccinations are still going to happen but we will listen to the nursing team and if they don’t feel it is possible, or if they think there are any chances of anyone’s health being compromised in the process, we would pause and find alternatives at that point,” added the deputy chief.
Northern Health has now stepped up to lend a hand, confirmed Eryn Collins, a spokesperson for the health authority.
“We are supporting Lake Babine Nation to ensure community members who are eligible, have access to immunization through the clinics we have underway,” she said.