Update: An orange-colored sign at a Tsq’escen home means someone is self-isolating due to COVID-19.
Each Canim Lake Band subdivision has been assigned a house monitor who checks for one of three colours displayed on the window sills of homes twice a day before reporting back to the band’s emergency operations centre.
In the schematic colour-coded system, each colour has a different meaning: blue means everything is OK, yellow asks for someone to check in on them and orange means to please stay away.
The system results from two confirmed positive cases in the Indigenous community located approximately 30 kilometres east of 100 Mile House since Jan. 5.
“Our priority continues to be to safeguard our community, our members, our families and especially our vulnerable populations from contracting this deadly virus,” Chief Helen Henderson said in an e-mail to Black Press Media Jan. 6.
Both of the confirmed cases are being closely monitored and receiving support such as meals, water and medications by the band that activated its emergency operations plan at the start of the pandemic.
“We have always planned COVID-19 would eventually arrive, so that we are not in reaction mode,” Henderson said, noting the band has returned to stage one procedure and is considering the option of installing checkpoints to reduce access to the community.
Under stage one, Canim Lake Band will be providing essential services only from Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
All staff have been directed to work from home.
“It’s our Secwepemc value to ensure protection, safety, security to all our members and these values have guided us through this pandemic,” Henderson said, adding they are awaiting word on when Tsq’escen will receive vaccines.
“Our elders, knowledge keepers and those with compromised immune systems are our priority,” she said.
Planning for contact tracing is underway at the Canim Lake Band near 100 Mile House
A positive COVID-19 case within the community was confirmed Tuesday, Jan 5.
“The Canim Lake Chief and Council, Emergency Operations Centre team thank you for your patience and diligence as we navigate our way through our first positive case in the community,” an update stated.
No further information was immediately available.
As of Jan. 5, Indigenous Services Canada said it is aware of 9,537 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and 87 deaths on First Nations reserves across the country.