COVID-19 'broadly detected' in 100 Mile House area, IH says as outbreak declared in Canim Lake

Outbreak in South Cariboo

Interior Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak on a South Cariboo First Nation that last week imposed severe lockdown measures after members began to test positive — part of broad community spread in the 100 Mile House area.

The outbreak for Canim Lake was declared on Monday. In a news release, IH said 32 positive COVID-19 cases have so far been confirmed in the small community, located 40 kilometres east of 100 Mile House.

“Outbreak response activities are being co-ordinated together with Canim Lake First Nation, Interior Health, the First Nations Health Authority, Emergency Management BC and others,” the release said.

“Agencies are working together to bring additional resources to support the community.”

According to IH, the outbreak is part of a larger regional cluster.

“Although this outbreak is being declared in Canim Lake, increased COVID-19 activity is being broadly detected throughout the 100 Mile House region,” the IH release said.

IH is overseeing outreach testing in the community, as well as contact tracing, transportation and quarantine, with support from community health services.

On Friday, the Canim Lake Band initiated nightly curfews and locked down its community — refusing to allow visitors other than medical workers or those on supply runs.

The efforts came after nine positive COVID-19 cases had been confirmed, with more suspected.

“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 band said in a release.

IH praised the efforts of Canim Lake Band leadership in locking down the community.

“The Canim Lake First Nation has taken extraordinary efforts to ensure public health and safety and are working collaboratively with neighbouring communities to mitigate the risk factors associated with the rapid transmission of the virus,” IH said in its release.

“We are grateful for the community leadership of the local elected officials and Canim Lake First Nation as we work to support the community together.”

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