The First Nations Health authority says the COVID-19 positivity rate among First Nations people is rising higher than the rate among other British Columbians.
The rate of positive cases among First Nations members was at 200 per 100,000 people as of Sept. 15, compared with 144 per 100,000 people among other British Columbians.
“In the last probably three weeks total (there were) some community clusters that became bigger,” said acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald.
Some of the transmission is happening in multigenerational houses and in places where there may be a housing shortage, McDonald said, but added that there have also been clusters linked to events like funerals.
Funerals are conducted according to cultural norms and are hugely important to grieving loved ones, McDonald said.
But amid COVID-19, she said families will need to honour their loved ones differently for the time being in order to protect community elders who are crucial holders of knowledge and traditions.
“Best? Less than 10 people, graveside ceremony outside, plans for something later,” she said.
McDonald said the health authority is monitoring three or four ongoing clusters in First Nations communities, with another two “more or less resolved.”View link »