Penticton Indian Band councillors have declared a local state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

Penticton Indian Band councillors have declared a local state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

COVID-19: Penticton Indian Band declares state of emergency

As of March 20 there are 19 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Interior Health region

The Penticton Indian Band (PIB) has declared a state of local emergency in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of March 20 there are 19 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Interior Health region which encompasses the Okanagan and the Kootenays.

READ MORE: Penticton Indian Band stands in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

PIB Chief and Council determined on March 18 that the protection of the health of residents and members is of paramount importance and therefore made the decision to declare a state of emergency.

Chief and Council announced Friday that all PIB facilities are now closed to the public and PIB programs and services are temporarily postponed, except for essential services.

PIB plans to continue providing services through remote access.

“Our community is a microcosm of the national landscape and we are taking these steps to support our health teams in managing the current crisis,” said Chief Chad Eneas.

“We care deeply about the health and safety of our members and to do that our government body is maintaining essential services to ensure this happens.

“We have also worked with Provincial and Federal Ministries to address the enhanced risk in multigenerational homes which limits the ability to apply social distancing safeguards.”

READ MORE: Osoyoos mayor supports border closure despite economic uncertainty

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