Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)

Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Interior Health has declared a COVID-19 community cluster in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region.

The designation allows IH to report COVID-19 numbers, something local leaders have been pushing for since Cariboo Memorial Hospital declared an outbreak Jan. 13.

Eleven front-line hospital workers have since tested positive for COVID-19 and there are multiple clusters in outlying areas in First Nations communities, who are starting to report deaths relating to the virus.

Since Jan. 1, a total of 215 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the region. Of these cases, 74 reside in nearby First Nations communities and 158 are currently active.

“As we have seen in recent years, this community has a history of coming together during challenging times in the face of adversity. Now is no different: we must stay focused and reduce the spread of this virus together by strictly following public health orders and direction,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health. “I want to thank local First Nation chiefs, our healthcare staff and physicians, and community leaders for their dedication and hard work as we respond together to this increase in COVID-19 activity in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.”

Of the 215 cases, most are related to COVID-19 transmission that occurred at recent social events and gatherings in Williams Lake, noted IH. The number excludes the community of 100 Mile House, Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars explained in a video update to his community members, telling them not to panic or become anxious with the news.

“This declaration is being done with transparency in mind and will allow Interior Health to provide area-specific COVID-19 numbers and updates to the Williams Lake community,” he said.

Everyone in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and across Interior Health are reminded that socialization must be limited to immediate household bubbles. Please do not invite friends or extended family to your residence for a visit or gathering.

It is important to follow public health guidance such as physical distancing, washing your hands regularly and wearing a mask.

IH will release regular updates on this community cluster on Tuesdays and Fridays and in addition, everyone is encouraged to monitor the BCCDC website for ongoing COVID-19 data.

Everyone in all communities should remain vigilant in following COVID-19 precautions:

Keep to your household bubbles and avoid social gatherings. Stay home when you are sick and get tested if you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Practise physical distancing. Wear a mask. Wash your hands often.

Read More: Canim Lake Band loses Elder due to COVID-19

Read More: Power outage spoils COVID-19 vaccine at Tl’etinqox


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusWilliams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

Fernie Meat Market owner Mark Brown with the newest addition to his Griz Pins collection. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Griz Days this weekend!

The 44th annual Griz Days will be mostly online

STA members and non-members alike are encouraged to send in photos of their trail adventures. (Photo contributed by Scott Tibballs)
STA plots another trail for Lunch Network

The network will consist of 6km of trail outside of Sparwood

A member of the Avalanche Canada South Rockies field team gathers important snowpack data that is used to produce daily avalanche forecasts for the region. Photo by Jennifer Coulter.
Warming temperatures increase avalanche risk heading into the weekend

Warm temperatures impact conditions, human behaviour

The Elk River Pedestrian Bridge in Sparwood could be at risk without mitigation works. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Sparwood secures grant funding for bridge repairs

The district has secured $703,000 in funding from UBCM

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read