Williams Lake First Nation chief reports 11 members fully recovered from COVID-19

·2 min read

Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) Chief Willie Sellars asked for continued co-operation while also being optimistic the community’s COVID-19 numbers among on-reserve members will begin to drop.

From his home, with a picture of his late grandfather wearing goalie pads in the background, Chief Willie Sellars began his Jan. 20 community Facebook address on a sad note.

“We have heavy hearts in the community today with the passing of another loved one,” Sellars said, confirming the passing of community member Michelle Wycotte.

Wycotte’s death follows the recent passing of another WLFN member, Byron Louie. Her cause of death, as well as Louie’s, have not been released.

As of 4 p.m. Jan 20, Sellars said 34 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed within the WLFN community of Sugar Cane.

“Of those 34, the good news is 11 have now fully recovered and are completing their 14-day isolation,” he said.

“That leaves 23 active cases in the community.”

Sellars also provided an update on COVID-19 cases within the Cariboo Chilcotin region which does not include 100 Mile House and Quesnel.

He said there are 156 active COVID-19 cases and that it was WLFN’s understanding Interior Health would be declaring a COVID-19 cluster within the Cariboo Chilcotin region later today (Jan. 20).

“We encourage our membership, the community at large, not to panic or become anxious in light of the declaration,” Sellars said.

“This declaration is being done with transparency in mind and will allow Interior Health to provide area-specific COVID-19 numbers and updates to the Williams Lake community.”

A limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is anticipated to be distributed at the Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium by the end of the week.

While encouraged and optimistic the number of cases will drop by the end of the week at Sugar Cane, Sellars said it will be individuals’ actions that will prevent any spread.

Three of six beds at two fully-furnished duplex units complete with groceries and supplies are available for self-isolation.

“The greatest challenge our EOC team has faced to date is being a matter of self-isolation practices and ensuring individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 have the opportunity to isolate away from their family members who have tested negative,” Sellars said.

Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune