COVID-19 outbreak grows on Haida Gwaii; community members asked to stay home
VANCOUVER -- An outbreak on Haida Gwaii has grown by one case of COVID-19, health officials confirmed Monday, and the local community is asking its members to lock down.
On Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed the additional case of the virus, which brought the community's total to 14. An outbreak was first declared on Friday.
"People are concerned. We're really asking people now to stay home and limit their movement," Gaagwiis Jason Alsop, president of the Haida Nation, told CTV News Vancouver.
"This is not totally unexpected and I think it's a wake-up call."
The Haida Nation is maintaining a state of emergency it declared earlier in the pandemic and continues to ask visitors to stay away.
Henry said Monday that declaring an outbreak allows officials to "pull the community together" and ensure the necessary health resources are allocated.
Alsop said it appears a person who moved away from the community then moved back was the first case. He would not provide more details, citing confidentiality. That first case was confirmed on July 18.
"At this time, we are reminding community members to practice lateral kindness – there are some community members who are ill at home – let's provide them with a circle of care and support," a statement on the Haida Nation website says about the outbreak.
The notice also encourages residents to "decrease the stigma that may exist about COVID-19."
"It is important for residents of Haida Gwaii to remain calm in the midst of this outbreak."
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan