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B.C.’s Tla’amin First Nation declares state of emergency due to COVID-19 outbreak

The Tla'amin Nation has issued a state of emergency due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Tla'amin Nation/Facebook

A B.C. First Nation has issued a state of emergency after four members tested positive for the novel coronavirus and several others are reporting symptoms.

A notice on the Tla’amin Nation website says residents have been ordered to shelter in place to slow the spread of the virus while health officials complete contact tracing.

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The order took effect late Tuesday afternoon and advised members of the community, which is in the area of Powell River on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, that they should stay put for the next 72 hours.

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Access to the Tla’amin Nation has been restricted to a single entry point and parents are being urged to keep children out of school this week.

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A letter from Vancouver Coastal Health warned of possible exposure to COVID-19 during a wake on Sept. 3 and a funeral on Sept. 4.

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“We are a strong and resilient community and we will work our way through this,” Tla’amin leader Hegus Clint Williams said.

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“However, it is time to attack this virus by controlling the spread aggressively with a community lockdown. We ask our community members to abide by and be respectful of this lockdown and we also ask our friends and neighbours to respect this as well, by not having any unnecessary visits within our community.”

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The Tla’amin state of emergency comes a day after B.C.’s provincial health officer ordered the closure of nightclubs and banquet halls after a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the province.

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