The Ulkatcho First Nation is taking a number of precautions to protect its community from COVID-19. (Ulkatcho First Nation photo)

Ulkatcho First Nation implementing road closures and restrictions

Access will be restricted as of May 8

A First Nations community 325 kilometers west of Williams Lake is tightening restrictions around access to safeguard from the novel coronavirus.

Effective May 8, the Ulkatcho First Nation (UFN) will be closing entrances to some roads and access points to the community.

Checkpoints on both sides of Highway 20 will also be installed limiting access to Ulkatcho and Anahim Lake residents, essential services and authorized individuals only, states the community’s website.

UFN said vehicle permits will be provided to Ulkatcho and Anahim Lake residents.

The checkpoints will be routinely monitored and patrolled during the day.

“We have been asked by our neighbouring communities, to advise our members, to not travel into their communities,” UFN noted.

Supported by Council, the Nuxalk Stataltmc (hereditary) leadership further west of Ulkatcho announced on April 27 they are entering into a community lockdown due to the ongoing threat of COVID 19. All non-essential traffic and visitors will be turned away from travelling to and from Bella Coola until further notice.

A State of Emergency prohibiting visitors and non-members was declared by Ulkatcho Band Council on March 25.

Following UFN’s implementation of the community safety officer program, Melissa Cahoose and Bradley Jimmie will be patrolling the reserve to assist community members in a variety of ways such as wellness checks and encouraging and providing education regarding safe social distancing.

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