Tl’esqox First Nation Chief Francis Laceese mans a checkpoint into his community, located about 50 kilometres west of Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

Tsilhqot’in National Government downgrades emergency response to spring flooding, COVID-19

Avoiding unnecessary travel is still being urged

As flood waters recede and B.C. begins to ease COVID-19 restrictions, the Tsilhqot’in National Government has downgraded its Emergency Operations Centre response.

After previously operating at Level 2 due to the global health crisis and two localized flooding incidents, the TNG said it is now operating its EOC at Level 1.

Level 1 is the lowest EOC activation level according to the B.C. Emergency Operations Centre Operation guidelines.

The TNG said it continues to remain on high alert and is prepared to reactive at an EOC response Level 2 if and when required.

“As the virus continues to spread throughout B.C. and Canada we are calling on everyone to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home or out on the land,” the TNG said in a statement noting the potential for a second wave.

Read More: Yunesit’in First Nation removes checkpoints

Visitors are asked to continue to stay away.

Checkpoints remain active at Xeni Gwet’in (Nemiah), and on the weekends at Tsideldel (Redstone). ?Esdilagh (Alexandria) has checkpoints in effect until June 1 after which a bylaw will take effect ordering any member who brings in visitors must ensure they stay within their own home and not travel throughout the community.

A possible exposure was identified last month when a released inmate who had stopped in to visit family at Tl’etinqox (Anaham) First Nation west of Williams Lake later tested positive. That prompted Tl’etinqox and neighbouring Xeni Gwet’in (Nemiah) First Nation to implement 14 day lockdowns which have appeared to have paid off.

No positive cases as of May 26 have been identified.

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