Alert Bay had a cluster of COVID-19 cases in April, but has had no new cases since the 30th. ( photo)

UPDATE: Alert Bay lifts travel ban and local state of emergency as coronavirus outbreak dies down

With no new cases in over a week, and 90 per cent of cases recovered, Alert Bay lifts travel ban

Alert Bay has had no cases of COVID-19 since April 30, and with almost all of the 30 confirmed cases recovered, the village has decided to lift the travel restrictions to Cormorant Island.

The travel ban was implemented on April 18, and was lifted on May 8. Conservation officers had been stationed at the ferry terminal from Port McNeill asking for proof of residency or essential travel to Cormorant Island. All non-essential travellers were being turned away.

The travel ban was seen as effective by the community.

“That’s a simple numbers thing,” said Don Svanvik, elected chief and hereditary chief of the ‘Namgis First Nation. “Had there still been free travel to and from the island, the potential for more people getting it would be greatly increased.”

In early April a cluster of COVID-19 cases emerged, causing the residents of Cormorant Island to blame travellers, flouting the province’s travel advisory.

There were 30 confirmed cases and one death on the island, which has a population of around 1,200. Public health nurses were stationed in Alert Bay to provide testing for anyone with symptoms. As of last week, 146 tests had been administered according to Alert Bay physician Dr. Cutfeet.

FOR CONTEXT: Alert Bay’s state of emergency set to continue, but virus restrictions could be lowered in the future

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