Chief William Seymour and council issued the shelter-in-place order late on the afternoon of Jan. 6, after 23 cases had been confirmed since New Year’s Day.  (File photo)

Cowichan Tribes ordered to shelter in place due to COVID-19 outbreak

Members of B.C.’s largest First Nation required to stay at home until Jan. 22

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in their community, members of Cowichan Tribes have been instructed to shelter in place until Jan. 22.

Chief William Seymour and council issued the order late on the afternoon of Jan. 6, after 23 cases had been confirmed since New Year’s Day.

“More cases may be announced in the days ahead as we await test results,” the order notes. “This is a critical time for each of us to do our part to limit the spread of the virus and to remain calm and be kind to one and other.”

RELATED: Island Health’s daily COVID-19 case count reaches record high

RELATED: ‘I want to tell you I took all of the precautions, I’m scared’

The Duncan-area community of nearly 5,000 members is B.C.’s largest First Nation. Chief and council and their pandemic response team have been working closely with the BC First Nations Health Authority, Island Health and other health providers to conduct contact tracing, monitor cases and keep members safe. Members who have tested positive or have been in direct contact with those who have tested positive are required to self-isolate, and health officials are providing support and guidance.

Under the shelter in place order, all members are required to stay at home. Access to residential areas and residential buildings on reserve land is restricted. Barriers and checkpoints are being set up to enforce the order and provide information.

Residents may only leave their homes for work, school, medical appointments, to get groceries, medicine or other essential items, or to care for a family member who is ill. Households are asked to designate one person to go shopping, and to limit shopping trips to once per week. If possible, they should order over the phone and have essential items delivered to their homes.

Residents are not permitted to gather or hold events indoors or outdoors with people from outside their household.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even mild symptoms, should self-isolate and call 811. Symptoms include cough, headache, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, runny nose, loss of appetite, chills, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea and vomiting, exacerbation of chronic muscle aches, diarrhea.

To arrange for a COVID-19 test, contact the Cowichan COVID-19 Assessment Centre at 1-844-901-8442. For other information, call 811 or Ts’ewulhtun Health at 250-746-6184.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Coronaviruscowichan valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Rogers Creek Trail main trailhead is located on the Redford Extension in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Hiker rescued after cold few hours in the bush outside Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Rescue Squad said they receive frequent calls for people lost on this trail

Helma Swinkels, left, from Bibi J’s is all smiles as she makes her first donation under the new business name to Ellen Frood from Alberni Community and Women’s Services (ACAWS). In 18 sales days, Swinkels was able to donate $3,000 to the transition house. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Bibi J’s in Port Alberni makes first donation to non-profit

Alberni Women and Community Services to benefit

Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced that Red Deer and other rural locations would soon be getting doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. (photography by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
EDITORIAL: Leading by example

Those in leadership roles need to follow the restrictions they impose on others

Melissa Martin from the Rollin Art Centre holds two paintings from the Rollin Art Centre’s permanent collection: an original portrait painted by the late Robert Aller, and a mixed media piece called ‘House’ from Peggy Larson that was part of Aller’s private collection. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre to re-open February 2

Newest exhibit will feature some pieces from permanent collection

Rik Abel has opened Rik’s Picks, a vintage record shop on Johnston Road. (TERESA BIRD / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BIZ BEAT: Port Alberni businesses get innovative during pandemic

See what’s new in the Port Alberni business community

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Most Read