The mayor of 100 Mile House is calling on residents to work together and continue to follow B.C.’s health orders as the number of COVID-19 cases climb across the region.
Mayor Mitch Campsall said district staff is dealing with the situation as “best we can.” Latest numbers from Interior Health, as of Jan. 9 suggests there were 29 reports of positive cases in 100 Mile along 59 positive cases at the Canim Lake Band, where the community remains in lockdown. However, Campsall expects that number is even higher.
“The problem is Interior Health doesn’t tell us anything. None of the municipalities are getting the information they want or think they need,” he said.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson said Tuesday he expects Interior Health is preparing to declare a COVID-19 cluster in the region, which will allow for the consistent, specific reporting of cases in the region. Although he has been unable to get case counts for the region, Doerkson said the virus is spreading through the entire region, not just First Nations communities, and all residents should exercise caution, he said.
There are currently two COVID-19 patients in the 100 Mile House District General Hospital, which has a capacity to hold 14 patients. Doerkson said 10 nurses and two doctors at Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake also contracted COVID-19 and all are off work.
He said IH has assured him that several nurses, as well as two doctors, are en route to fill those positions. Some 136 vaccines were also delivered to frontline and critical care nurses and physicians on Monday.
“We know in this riding, 1,065 vaccines will have been given out, including 136 frontline workers in both of our hospitals,” he said.
“Please be vigilant … now more than ever, particularly in the Cariboo Chilcotin riding, it is a time to be very careful so please wear your masks, do all the distancing that you possibly can.”
Campsall also urged residents to follow the health orders. He added people have a right to protest and express their opinions as long as they do so in a safe and respectful manner. The local RCMP and Interior Health will provide enforcement of provincial health orders if necessary.
“The District position has been unwavering – all citizens should keep themselves informed and follow the guidelines and protocols set out by the provincial government and the Medical Officer of Health for B.C. I’d just like everyone to do their best and stop being selfish … we’ve got to work at this as a community, not a me-me-me attitude,” he said. “They should respect that we’ve got this in our community. We need to work together or we will fail. I’m calling on people to work together. Look after your neighbour, wash your hands, sanitize your hands and keep your distance. We’ve all got to work with the actual facts.”
With a file from Monica Lamb-Yorski