The Canim Lake Band will reopen its band offices and the Eliza Archie Memorial School next week as the number of COVID-19 cases holds steady in the community.
The community has seen 66 positive cases since an outbreak was declared by Interior Health on Jan. 11. Of those 54 have recovered, while 10 remain in isolation. Two members, including one living outside the community, have died.
Don Dixon, incident commander of the Canim Lake Band’s Emergency Operations Centre, said the community will remain under outbreak status for the next 28 days, as determined by Interior Health. The EOC will re-assess its response level on Feb. 19 and, if conditions allow, it will move into Phase 3 of its response plan and a further loosening of the restrictions.
In the meantime, the CLB asked people from outside the community to refrain from visiting.
“Health officials continue to monitor the situation but so far community leaders are cautiously optimistic,” Dixon said in a statement. “Strong safety measures are still in place and band offices and Eliza Archie Memorial School are opening their doors next week with limited hours.”
Some high school classes at EAMS opened this week and proceeded smoothly, he said. Only staff and students are allowed in the building. Guests are greeted at the door and must wear a mask.
Canim Lake Band leadership and the EOC will continue to seek support for out-of-community members. A member outside the community had tested positive last week, bringing the total number of cases to 66.