Nak’azdli Whut’en taking extra precautions against COVID

A First Nation community near Fort St James isn’t taking any chances as the number of new COVID-19 cases increase across B.C.

Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation announced on Nov. 16 the public will be prohibited from visiting their offices and community buildings for the next 14 days.

“Safety is our first priority for all community members as well as our staff,” Chief Aileen Prince said in a Facebook video with health manager Verne Tom.

“We’ll try to provide services as much as we can without disruption.”

The number of new coronavirus cases as well as those requiring hospitalization as a result of the disease has been steadily increasing.

On Friday, Nov 13. B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister, Adrian Dix reported 617 new cases and two more COVID-19 related deaths.

From Friday, Nov. 13 to Monday, Nov. 16 a total of 1,959 positive cases were confirmed as were nine new deaths.

“Cases are getting higher throughout the province and it’s become a concern here,” Prince said, urging members to do their part in slowing the spread.

“We are acting in order to keep the community safe.”

As of Nov. 13, Indigenous Services Canada said it is aware of 187 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases amongst First Nations individuals living on-reserve in B.C.