Vancouver Island First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

·2 min read

A remote Vancouver Island First Nation wracked by an outbreak of COVID-19 also had the additional burden of a storm-caused power outage dumped on its shoulders today.

Ehattesaht First Nation is under a lockdown with nine active COVID-19 cases as of Nov. 26, on their reserve near Zeballos

Coun. Ernie Smith told community members in a Facebook update that 11 cases had been recorded in the community of about 500 since last week, two of which have recovered.

He asked members to “stay home” and continue isolating.

“We don’t want to spread this virus any more than it has,” said Smith in the video update.

In addition, a storm caused power outage in the area earlier today. In a Facebook update on Ehattesaht First Nation’s page band manager Darlene Smith told members that BC Hydro is en route and that they were working to get some generators brought in. Smith also said volunteers from Zeballos were cooking soup for the community members affected by the power outage.

Island Health’s medical health officer Charmaine Enns told community members of Zeballos, Ehattesaht and Nuchatlaht today in a notice letter, that additional cases of COVID-19 have been detected through the increased testing that took place during this past week.

“Most if the new cases are accruing in individuals who have already been identified as a close contact and were already self isolating at home. This is very encouraging as the cases are in people we expect. It reinforces that the public health measure to have cases and close contacts self-isolate is effective in reducing transmissions within the community,” she said in the statement.

Enns also said that several COVID-19 cases have completed their infectious period and are considered recovered.

On Nov. 20 community members of Ehattesaht and Nuchtlaht community of Oclujce were notified about a visitor who spent time at Zeballos Elementary Secondary School testing positive for the virus.

Contact tracing by BC Centre for Disease Control began on Nov. 21 after members were told to self-isolate.

READ MORE: Visitor to Zeballos tested positive for COVID-19

READ MORE: Zeballos closes public service areas ahead of second wave

Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Campbell River Mirror