Tla-o-qui-aht keeps vulnerable populations safe amidst ‘tridemic’

With COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV circulating throughout the winter season, communities are combating the ‘tridemic,’ by encouraging folks to stay at home and self-isolate when they feel sick to protect their vulnerable populations.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation recently released a statement indicating that though it “isn’t in a state of emergency”, members are experiencing an increase in COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV. The statement serves as a reminder of ways to help prevent the spread of respiratory disease within the community.

‘Life is getting back to normal’ for tourism in Tofino

When B.C.’s proof of vaccination requirement expired on April 8, it was the last major COVID-19 measure removed by the province. 

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation has followed suit by easing its COVID-19 restrictions, and after more than two years, the nation’s Tribal Administrator Jim Chisholm said “life is getting back to normal.”

Face mask requirements have been relaxed, restrictions on the number of people at indoor and outdoor gatherings have been eased, and there is no longer a check-stop at the entrance of Ty-Histanis to monitor people coming and going from the community.

NTC launches widespread study into COVID-19 vaccine

The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council has hired Dr. Roger Boyer, an Anishinabek man from Mississauga, Ontario, to head up a study looking at the effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines as well as gather stories from Nuu-chah-nulth people about their experiences during the pandemic.

“We want to learn what makes us more vulnerable or more resilient, in addition to the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Keiten Brown, NTC Vaccine Study communications coordinator, in a Feb. 3 press release.

Rapid tests distributed to communities across B.C.

British Columbia has plans to expand its inventory and distribution of rapid COVID-19 tests that can be used at home by individuals experiencing symptoms of the virus. 

Case rates from the latest variant, Omicron, have risen to the highest levels seen during the pandemic, according to the BC COVID-19 Modelling Group.

The modelling group, which works on rapid response modelling of the pandemic, estimates that prior to Christmas, Omicron cases in B.C. were growing 21 to 26 per cent each day, doubling every three to 3.6 days.

Nations brace for spread of Omicron variant

A Nuu-chah-nulth leader is urging people to follow provincial health guidelines after contracting COVID-19. Ken Watts, Tseshaht elected chief, said in a social media post that he started feeling rough on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 6.

“I had my COVID-19 test yesterday and today my results came back positive for COVID-19,” he wrote.

Watts said that he considers himself a healthy person and is fully vaccinated except for the booster.

Eight-year-old first elementary student to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Neah Bay

He hasn’t been inside a classroom since March 2020, but that is about to change since eight-year-old Cole Gonzales received his COVID-19 vaccination on Nov. 8, making him the first child under 12 in Neah Bay to receive the shot.

Ellen Gonzales, Cole’s mother, comes from the Robinson family of Uchucklesaht and has another home in Kildonan. But she hasn’t been to her Canadian home in more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

COVID-19 outbreak at Tofino hospital

Island Health has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Tofino General Hospital.

In a statement issued Oct. 12, Island Health said, “Four patients have tested positive for COVID-19 related to this outbreak. The outbreak at TGH is limited to the inpatient unit.”

Island Health immediately implemented precautions including enhanced cleaning. They are working on contact tracing and are in communication with patients, family, and hospital staff.

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