Quatsino First Nation transitioned to a Red Phase in its COVID-19 response on Jan. 7 as a precaution, though there have been no cases identified on the reserve. The Communicable Disease Emergence Response Team (CDER) recommended the change, endorsed by Chief and Council.
“Our culture teaches that when something happens we are still. Now is the time to be still,” said Chief Tom Nelson in a video address to the community. Increased visits among households on and off reserve during the holidays was part of the reason for the decision, along with the rise in cases on Vancouver Island.
The heightened community response guidelines are scheduled to last for two weeks in an attempt to prevent any undiagnosed cases from spreading. Leadership will monitor the situation and determine whether to continue at the red phase or relax to orange on Jan. 20.
The main changes are that K’ak’ot’lats’l School has gone online and the daycare is closed. All band staff are working from home when possible.
Quatsino reserve residents are asked to limit their contact to within their households, assign one designated shopper for essential items, and limit visits to Port Hardy and area to essential reasons only. People are also asked to keep a log of any visits to town that are made, including the date and time. All non-residents are asked to postpone visits until such time as they are safe.
“There have been no cases of COVID-19 identified on our reserve, and we want to keep it that way,” Nelson said.
“I want to thank our community for their understanding and for their patience, it is by our collective action that we will emerge from this pandemic together.”
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