The number of COVID-19 cases at the Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) community of Sugar Cane has almost doubled within the past 48 hours.
Chief Willie Sellars confirmed in a Facebook video update Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 12 there are now 22 confirmed positive cases of the novel coronavirus within the Sugar Cane community eight kilometers south of Williams Lake.
“For context, we understand that there are approximately 47 cases in the Williams Lake health coverage area; so that’s 47 cases in the general area of Williams Lake, 22 confirmed cases within the community of Sugar Cane,” he said.
“We anticipate that we may receive some additional positive cases over the next few days as testing results continue to catch up.”
Sellars commended nurses at Three Corners Health Services Society for completing 39 tests on Jan. 11 and 21 tests on Jan. 12.
He also expressed gratitude for WLFN members who have taken the initiative to comply with the orders issued by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and remain disciplined and diligent in their activities.
“These are very uncertain times, and I commend our community for taking steps to isolate where necessary after being assessed especially by health professionals,” Sellars said.
Sellars reminded his residents to go outside socially distanced with members of their immediate household to get fresh air, adding if their child attends school in Williams Lake or the surrounding area they can continue to send their child to school as long as they are not awaiting test results or are being advised to isolate. The same goes for work.
“Again we are not under lockdown,” he said.
Sellars extended his heartfelt support to WLFN members who have contracted the contagious disease and said the community, council and their family stand with them in love, kindness and mutual respect.
WLFN cultural coordinator David Archie said traditional medicine such as juniper, cedar, smudge, Indian tea, Chaga and devil’s club is available for members.
Currently, WLFN has closed its government offices as well as daycare, school and recreation programs.