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First Nation on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast extends lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise

Last Updated Sep 13, 2020 at 12:18 am PST

(Courtesy Facebook/tlaaminnation)

More than 20 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed among members of the Tla'amin Nation near Powell River

Steve Gallagher with the Emergency Operations Centre says members who need help to follow the order will be provided for

TLA’AMIN NATION (NEWS 1130) — Around 700 members of a First Nation along the Sunshine Coast remain under lockdown this weekend with more than 20 COVID-19 cases confirmed in the community.

A shelter-in-place order is in effect for the Tla’amin Nation near Powell River until at least Monday evening, meaning residents are being asked not to leave their homes to check the mail, go for walks, or use outdoor garbage bins. Children are being told not to go to class on Monday.

“We are confident that contact tracing, self-isolation of the sick, and the widespread testing now underway will allow us to quickly contain this outbreak. The additional measures such as the shelter in place order and the checkpoints are slowing the spread,” reads a statement on the Nation’s website.

Steve Gallagher with the Emergency Operations Centre says any member who needs help to abide by the order will be provided for.

“We’ve set up a helpline for our members to call for assistance if they need help. We have managed to get some food in our food bank program to help people that don’t have groceries. We set this up to support the needs of our nation,” he explains.

Message from the Tla'amin Emergency Operations Center. Please share with your families that do not have Facebook.

Posted by Tla'amin Nation on Saturday, September 12, 2020

Gallagher says the strict order is being followed because people recognize the need to contain the coronavirus.

“I think our community has reacted well. We do get a few people that just like to get outside, that’s only natural,” he says.

“So we just kind of continually get the message out that it’s important to stay home. We’ve had a pretty good, positive response for people respecting the safety of our nation as well as Powell River.”

According to Gallagher, the outbreak began shortly after the Labour Day weekend.

The nation closed its offices on Sept. 3 due to “active COVID-19 cases in the province being at an all-time high and climbing,” according to the website.