First Nation near 100 Mile House refusing outside visitors, restricting travel after nine positive COVID-19 cases

Lockdown on band land

A First Nation in the South Cariboo says it’s initiating nightly curfews and “locking down” its community indefinitely after confirming multiple positive COVID-19 cases, refusing entry to anyone who does not live on band land and allowing residents to leave only for weekly supply runs.

The Canim Lake Band, 35 kilometres east of 100 Mile House, put the measures in place at 6 p.m. on Friday. A curfew will be in place from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily and band members will have until 6 p.m. each day to make shopping trips to 100 Mile House — excursions that will only be allowed once per week.

“The Canim Lake Band is taking strong early action to safeguard Tsq’escen’ members, families and especially vulnerable populations fro contracting the virus,” the band said in a news release.

Checkpoints will be set up in the community, the band said, to restrict traffic. No visitors will be allowed onto band land, with exceptions made only for medical reasons and weekly supply runs.

“Children who attend school outside the community are included in the lockdown,” the band release said.

“Schools will be notified of the lockdown and plans to put together homework packages are now underway.”

According to the band, two COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the community on Tuesday, followed by an additional seven later in the week.

“This is a difficult time for the families who have been affected by the positive cases in the community and leadership asks their community to support those affected and to work together to stop the spread of the virus,” the release said.

“If people from outside the community wish to support the Canim Lake Band, they are asked to please comply with the isolation orders to ensure the health of the community.”

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