Three COVID cases confirmed in Bella Coola

This is the third incident of COVID in Bella Coola since the start of the pandemic

This is the third incident of COVID in Bella Coola since the start of the pandemic (file photo)

This is the third incident of COVID in Bella Coola since the start of the pandemic (file photo)

In a notice posted on Thursday, Jan. 7, the Nuxalk Nation’s Emergency Operations Centre has confirmed there are three active cases of COVID-19 in the community.

The Nation has announced community restrictions for two weeks with a curfew of 9 p.m. – 6 a.m. daily. The EOC is requesting that everyone wear masks while in public, not travelling unless it’s essential, and not welcoming visitors from out of town for at least two weeks. People are being asked to carefully self-monitor for symptoms and get a test if they have any symptoms.

On a provinical level, B.C. health officials say the current bans on social gatherings and restrictions on athletics will be extended another four weeks, until Feb. 5, as the province continues to see high daily case totals of new COVID-19 cases.

“Our curve is trending upwards,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in a news conference Thursday (Jan. 7).

In the past 24 hours, the province recorded a record-high number of cases in about one month’s time with 761 new infections of the novel coronavirus, as well as eight additional deaths.

As most of the 6,349 active cases recover in their homes, hospitalizations remain near record-highs at 372 people in hospital, 74 of whom are in critical or intensive care.

There are 51 active outbreaks in long term care and acute care facilities.

While expected by many that the health orders in effect over the holiday break would be extended, Henry said it is crucial that the province “stay the course” until transmission and contraction of the respiratory illness decreases.

“We don’t want to keep these restrictions a second longer than we have to,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said, reiterating the pair’s continued calls to follow the rules, which include no gatherings outside of your direct household.

Since about a year ago, 56,015 people have tested positive for the virus in B.C.

B.C. officials continue to get vaccinations into the arms of frontline health workers and elderly people in long term care homes. Henry confirmed that 41,064 British Columbians have received their first of two doses as of Thursday.

– With files from Ashley Wadhwani