Positive COVID-19 case numbers are starting to show up in the Cariboo Chilcotin as the month of August unfolds.
The latest B.C. Centre for Disease Control map for Aug.3 to Aug. 9 shows the region covered in a light purple hue, which indicates an average daily rate of four new cases per 100,000 people.
Xeni Gwet’in First Nation Chief Jimmy Lulua said a community member tested positive and the nation’s gathering of about 60 people held at the remote Yohetta Lodge was cancelled Tuesday, Aug. 10.
On Wednesday, Aug. 11, Lulua and other community members were getting tested from vehicles or by walk-in at Xeni Gwet’in Clinic, with everyone asked to stand six feet apart and wear a mask.
“The person who tested positive was there a few days earlier helping set up the gathering and is the type of person who keeps to himself, so we are hoping it didn’t spread, but we want to get tested and have an inventory so we know what we are dealing with.”
Presently vaccination rates are roughly under half of the community and Lulua is encouraging more people to get vaccinated.
He has had both doses himself and said the positive case now is a wake-up call and shows the seriousness of the virus.
Leaders from other First Nations communities have reached out to offer support, which Lulua said was nice to see.
“We are building relationships to band together and Indigenous people are helping one another.”
Interior Health continues to host COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Thompson Rivers University and is accepting walk-ins for first doses. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The clinic at TRU will close on Friday, Aug 13 for good.
A pop-up clinic will then be held at Williams Lake Real Canadian Wholesale Club at 1000 South Lakeside Drive from Aug. 16 to Friday, Aug. 27.
Hours are Monday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
After the Wholesale Club the clinic will move to the public health office on Borland Street, with days and times to be announced.
Anyone in the Williams Lake area born in 2009 or earlier is eligible for immunization.
People are now eligible for their second dose at four weeks after receiving their first dose, and can drop into a clinic or make an appointment by registering online at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or call 1-833-838-2323.