Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)

Cowichan Tribes confirms 1st death amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

Cowichan Tribes has had its first death from COVID-19.

Chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the death on Tuesday, although he didn’t have any specific details.

“I never got a name,” he said. “I was just informed that we lost a community member.”

Cowichan Tribes announced on Monday that there had been 171 cases in the community, up from 128 a week earlier. Of those 171, 125 had recovered, six were in hospital, and 39 were in isolation. The First Nation was able to vaccinate 600 of its roughly 5,000 members on Jan. 13 and 14.

“It looks like the number of recoveries is pretty good,” the chief said. “I’m praying.”

In line with their traditional teachings, and to honour and respect the grieving family, Cowichan Tribes has also said it will take a break from providing updates on confirmed COVID numbers.

A shelter-in-place order for Cowichan Tribes members has been extended two weeks. It was originally scheduled to end on Jan. 22, but will now stay in effect through Feb. 5

Under the shelter-in-place order, all members are required to stay at home. Access to residential areas and residential buildings on reserve land is restricted. Barriers and checkpoints have been set up to enforce the order and provide information.

Residents may only leave their homes for work, school, medical appointments, to get groceries, medicine or other essential items, or to care for a family member who is ill. Households are asked to designate one person to go shopping, and to limit shopping trips to once per week. If possible, they should order over the phone and have essential items delivered to their homes.

Residents are not permitted to gather or hold events indoors or outdoors with people from outside their household.

Squtxulenhuw has also informed local businesses about the specifics of the order following some racist responses in the larger community to the Cowichan Tribes outbreak.

“It’s got to stop,” he said. “I sent a letter out to all the stores and restaurants explaining the order. We’re not locking up our community; only if someone has tested positive do they need to go into isolation. I hope they understand that. I’ve had a couple of calls apologizing. It’s getting out there. I’ve had some feedback, and it’s all been positive.”



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusCowichan Tribescowichan valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alycia Weir (left) and Helena Oosthoek (right) of the Golden Family Center stand outside of the GFC building at their Bell Lets Talk stand last February. They are currently raising funds to help support their drop-in counselling program. (Claire Palmer photo)
Family center fundrasing for free counselling program

It’s important to have accesible care in the community

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Ryan Bavin of Bavin Glassworks in Invermere. Photo: Submitted
Call for entries for Columbia Basin Culture Tour

Deadline for registration for artists and venues is April 15

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read