Another Canim Lake elder has died of COVID-19.
Chief Helen Henderson said the community is devastated by the death of the elder – the husband of another elder who passed away last month. The couple, who were urban members living outside the community had both been admitted to Royal Inland Hospital on the same day in January, Henderson said, noting the husband had not been a new case at that time.
“It is with deep sadness that we share the devastating news of another death due to COVID,” Henderson said in an email to the Free Press. “Our elder was a great father, grandfather and friend to many. His passing leaves us with a great sense of loss, but we are comforted to know he joins the love of his life in the spirit world and will be reunited with his children, his loved ones and our ancestors.”
The death comes just days after the outbreak at Canim Lake was lifted on Friday, Feb. 19 – just over a month after it had been declared by Interior Health. At the time, 32 out of the 228 people in the community northeast of 100 Mile House had tested positive. Overall, a total of 66 cases and two deaths were linked to the outbreak and three people have died.
Members have since been vaccinated in the community and are awaiting their second dose.
Henderson said last week Tsq’escen is proud of the efforts made by community members to deal with the outbreak, with “invaluable help” from IH.
Susan Brown, president and CEO of IH, last week applauded everyone who had worked together and offered her condolences to the families and loved ones of those who had passed away.
“We would like to thank the Canim Lake First Nation and Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) for their decisive action and efforts towards ending this COVID-19 outbreak,” Brown stated.
“This has been a challenging time for Canim Lake and the nearby community of 100 Mile House.”
Although the outbreak has been declared over, IH warns that COVID-19 continues to circulate throughout the region.