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 rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Sylvain Fabi, Canada’s chief negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty, joined a number of government and Indigenous government stakeholders for a virtual town hall on Feb. 24, 2021, to update the state of the Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Trevor Crawley photo/Zoom screenshot
Indigenous input key to Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Ecosystem function included in negotiations along with flood management and power generation priorities

The area of the East Kootenay under a special avalanche warning. Submitted
Avalanche Canada issues special warning for southern Rockies

Northern Rockies also under special avalanche warning

Pictured is a Young Agrarians farm tour at Wloka Farmstand in Creston. Note: this photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted File)
Land in short supply for new farmers in southeast B.C.

Young Agrarians hopes to match new farmers with land owners in the area

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
MY COVID STORY: From doctor to patient

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read