In this update:
• Current numbers
• Importance of continuing to take all public health precautions
• Halloween safety considerations
We have received confirmation of no new cases since our last update, leaving our total number of cases at 43 (39 lab confirmed, 4 epi-linked).
Our last new case was reported on September 23, exactly two weeks ago today.
We are very excited to share that we received confirmation today that 100% of our cases have been cleared from isolation!
We want to thank everybody from our members, staff, volunteers, frontline workers, First Nations Health Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health, and all of our partners who came to support us when the Nation was in need.
As a result of today’s news, we will no longer be in daily communication with FNHA, noting that 100% of our cases have now been cleared from isolation, so long as we don’t have any additional cases.
Importance of continuing to take all public health precautions
Even though the cluster of cases in our community appears to be at its end, we must remember that we’re not living in isolation from the wider community. Many of our members go to work outside of our communities, go grocery shopping, attend appointments, and more. We likely also have members with people in their bubbles who are not part of the Squamish Nation community.
As we’ve seen in the reports from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the number of active cases province-wide continues to climb. The virus may not be spreading in our community right now, but it is spreading all around us.
We have done an excellent job of containing this cluster of cases in our community, and now we need to keep up the good work of continuing to protect our community and our loved ones.
We can do this by:
• Keeping your bubble small (maximum six people is the recommended number)
• Maintaining 2m/6ft distance between you and anyone outside your bubble
• Wearing a mask anywhere that social distancing may be a challenge
• Washing your hands frequently, or using hand sanitizer when you’re unable to wash your hands
• Not touching your face
Halloween safety considerations
As we move into October, many of our families are wondering what Halloween will look like this year. Ultimately, it’s up to each family to decide what they feel comfortable with. Comfort levels may vary depending on whether you have a high-risk person in your bubble, and many other factors.
The BC Centre for Disease Control has issued some guidelines for Halloween safety during COVID-19.
• Skip Halloween parties this year
o Please don’t host or attend a party that includes anyone from outside your small bubble. Even with social distancing measures in place, indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
o Instead, consider celebrating with your favourite Halloween movie or other traditions that you can do with your household or small bubble.
o To keep everyone safe, the CJMC is not hosting its annual Halloween party this year. Instead, they’re hosting an online costume contest, complete with prizes. Details of that are available on the CJMC Facebook page.
• Trick or treating in small groups can be a safe and a fun activity. Trick-or-treating can be done safely by following these tips
o Respect homes by staying away if the lights are out.
o Keep to your local neighbourhood this year.
o Avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors (in places like malls) since there may not be enough space to distance. Indoor spaces may require a non-medical mask or face covering.
oTrick-or-treat in a small social group, stick to six people.
o Leave space between you and other groups to reduce crowding on stairs and sidewalks.
o Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home, and before eating treats.
o Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go.
o You don’t need to clean every treat. You should instead wash your hands after handling treats and not touch your face.
• Get creative handing out treats
o Use tongs, a baking sheet or make a candy slide to give more space when handing out candy.
o Plan to hand out individual treats instead of offering a shared bowl.
o Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats.
o Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats.
o Be more outside, than inside.
o If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats. Then kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell.
o If you’re unable to sit outside to hand out treats, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, handrails, and any other high touch surface often during the evening
o If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.
o Help make trick-or-treating more accessible to everyone by handing out treats from the bottom of your stairs or at your curb-side.