Haida Gwaii COVID Cases Rise to 14

Kathy Brookes/CTV

The number of cases involved in the COVID-19 outbreak on Haida Gwaii has grown to 14.  

That's one more than on Friday -- when the province declared the outbreak on the Islands. 

One person has recovered -- while there are now 13 active cases.

And other people who've been in contact with them are self-isolating and monitoring themselves for symptoms. 

Health officials reported Friday that the cases involve local residents and appear to be connected to travel off-island. 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said this afternoon that the 14th case in the outbreak is linked to previous cases.


Haida Nation President Gaagwiis Jason Alsop says it appears someone who moved away and then back was the first case.  He wouldn't provide more details citing confidentiality.

Gaagwiis says "it just shows we need to be diligent all the time.”

The Haida Nation is maintaining the State of Emergency it declared and is working with provincial and other local health officials and communities. 

Dr. Henry says declaring the outbreak on Friday has allowed officials to pull together resources in the communities and those people self-isolating are getting the support they need. 

Gaagwiis says "we’re asking people to stay home and limit their activity."

Across northern B.C., 80 cases have now been reported since the pandemic began four months ago, with most of the recent cases attributed to the outbreak on Haida Gwaii. 

Today, Dr. Henry reported 81 new cases across the province over the three days from Friday to Sunday, including 15 cases of COVID-19 connected to a blueberry packing plant in Abbotsford.

Two more people have also died of the virus over those three days. Both were residents of long term care homes in the Vancouver area. 

Meanwhile, in response to recent outbreaks stemming from private holiday parties, the provincial health officer's order on mass gatherings has been amended to limit the number of people in vacation accommodations, including for house, cabin, yurt and boat rentals, as well as hotel rooms.

A news release says the number of people is limited to the capacity of the space, plus up to a maximum of five visitors. For example, if the capacity of the accommodation is four people, the maximum number of visitors allowed is five, for a total of no more than nine people. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure the order is adhered to by all guests and to ensure contact tracing information is collected for everyone - guests and visitors alike.

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