TAHLTAN NATION COVID-19 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT UPDATE
The Tahltan Nation COVID-19 Emergency Management Team (TNCEMPT) continues to meet regularly to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the threat to our Territory.
In recent weeks, an increasing number of First Nation communities in British Columbia – including Witset in Smithers – have been under lockdowns to stop the spread of COVID- 19.
We are under no illusion that COVID-19 is knocking on the doors of Tahltan Territory.
As we all know, the threat of COVID-19 will not be going away anytime soon; as a result, we must learn to manage and live with COVID-19. To prevent the virus from entering our Territory we must become even more resolute in our fight. The onus is on each and everyone of us to not become complacent, act responsibly, and follow our policies and regulations.
Contract tracing, if the virus reaches our Territory, will identify the individual responsible.
DO NOT LET THAT BE YOU!
Although we have been successful, to date, in keeping COVID-19 out of our Territory, the threat level has increased substantially, forcing us to make the following changes/additions to our COVID-19 policies and regulations.
First, masks are now mandatory in all community spaces in Dease Lake, Iskut and Telegraph Creek and hand sanitizing is a must.
Second, in-Territory residents are still allowed essential travel only (medical related appointments) within Northwest BC (Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, and as far as Smithers only); however, we are recommending you now self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the Territory. DO NOT MOVE AROUND IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TO.
Third, anyone who receives a COVID-19 test MUST quarantine while waiting for test results.
THE FOLLOWING TRAVEL ADVISORY REMAINS IN PLACE FOR TAHLTAN TERRITORY:
On July 30, 2020 the Tahltan Nation announced that everyone, including hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, should avoid non essential travel to Tahltan Territory until the Province safely enters Stage 4 of the COVID-19 response. The consequence of spreading COVID-19 is too great given the limited access to acute medical care for residents along the remote Highway 37 corridor.
All non-essential travel to Dease Lake, Iskut and Telegraph Creek should be avoided, and all recreational activity is strongly discouraged north of Bob Quinn, including hunting regions 6-19 to 6-26. Hunting and recreational activity access points, including the Stikine Bridge, will be blocked with gates, and monitored, including video surveillance.
THE FOLLOWING MEASURES FOR IN-TERRITORY RESIDENTS ARE NOW IN PLACE:
In-Territory residents are still allowed essential travel only (medical related appointments) within Northwest BC (Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, and as far as Smithers only); however, we are recommending you now self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the Territory.
THE FOLLOWING MEASURES REMAIN IN PLACE FOR NON-TERRITORY TAHLTANS:
Non-territory residents are asked to assist the Tahltan Nation in our efforts to stay at home and to not travel to Tahltan Territory.
No hunting, camping, or recreational activity in Tahltan Territory. Essential travel only.
THE FOLLOWING PERSONAL MEASURES REMAIN IN PLACE IN TAHLTAN TERRITORY:
Stay Home: Unless you must go to work, or you are going onto the land to exercise with those in your household (people you live with);
Avoid ALL Non-Essential Trips In Your Community: Stop going to other communities. Limit the number of times you go to high traffic areas such as the store or post office;
Physical Distancing: Do not gather in groups. Ensure you stay a minimum of 6 feet away from other people;
Wash Hands Regularly: Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds or more. Soap is the best-known remedy for killing this virus so wash frequently;
Couch or Sneeze Into Your Elbow or a Tissue: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your tissue in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze int your upper sleave, not your hands;
Don’t Touch Your Face: Don’t transfer the virus into your body by touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
TAHLTAN NATION COVID-19 LOCKDOWN PROTOCOL:
If/when a positive test for COVID-19 has been confirmed, by health officials, in any of the three Tahltan communities, all the communities will go into immediate lockdown.
Emergency Management Committee’s and/or Tahltan leadership (President and both Chiefs) can declare a lockdown; however, only Tahltan leadership can lift the lockdown order upon approval from the Public Health Officer.