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

Ella Lamourexu. (Phil McLachlan, Kelowna Capital News)
Kelowna’s drag story

Ella Lamourexu explains the history behind drag in Kelowna

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Kelowna’s top cop removing barriers for women in the force

Kara Triance’s journey to becoming a police chief was not without its challenges

Pixabay.com
Kelowna Capital News presents Women in Business: 2021

Editor’s note on this year’s Women in Business

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Person experiencing homelessness. (Black Press Media file photo)
Program preventing youth homelessness launches in Kelowna

Upstream Project’s goal is to help young people become more resilient

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

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

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

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

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

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

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read