Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Citizen file)

More than 2,200 vaccinated at Cowichan Tribes clinics since January

‘It is important we continue to spread kindness, not COVID’

Cowichan Tribes issued an update on its COVID-19 situation on Monday, acknowledging that there is light at the end of the tunnel after a year of living with pandemic protocols.

The First Nation was hit hard by the virus in early 2021, with more than 270 cases among its roughly 5,000 members since Dec. 31, 2020, including six deaths. Staff at Cowichan Tribes have been working hard to vaccinate their members as well as individuals from the greater community.

“To help limit travel, we have extended our vaccination program to all self-identified Indigenous members living in the Cowichan Valley, and their households,” explained Cowichan Tribes pandemic nurse lead Fairlie Mendoza. “When you choose to vaccinate, you are protecting, not only yourself, but your family, loved ones and community. Getting vaccinated is an act of caring.”

Thus far, more than 2,255 people have been vaccinated at Cowichan Tribes clinics, including members, individuals living in Cowichan Tribes households both on and off reserve, Cowichan Tribes staff and their households, teachers and staff at Cowichan Tribes schools and daycare, and frontline workers who interact directly with the Cowichan Tribes community.

READ MORE: Cowichan Valley leaders condemn COVID-related racism

Members of Cowichan Tribes were subjected to racist comments and behaviour shortly after the outbreak in their ranks was made public. That led to a backlash from much of the wider Cowichan Valley community, including condemnation from political leaders locally, provincially and nationally.

“We know the only way to fight the virus, and any stigma, is through working together,” said acting health director Marnie Elliott. “We appreciate the outpouring of community support in response to acts of racism. It is important we continue to spread kindness, not COVID.”

Chief and council issued a stay-at-home order for Cowichan Tribes members on Jan. 6 that was lifted on March 19. Cowichan Tribes was also one of the first First Nations on Vancouver Island to receive vaccine doses, starting their roll-out on Jan. 13.

Vaccination clinics were scheduled for Tuesday, March 30 and Wednesday, March 31 from noon to 7 p.m. for all self-identified First Nations members living in the Cowichan Valley, and their households. For more information about the vaccination clinics visit www.cowichantribes.com

CoronavirusCowichan Tribes

Just Posted

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Quatse, the abandoned sea otter pup who was rescued in Port Hardy. (Marine Mammal Rescue Centre photo)
Quatse the sea otter pup continues to recover in treatment

Quatse’s last “pupdate” was on March 31, where it was noted she is “doing well and gaining weight.”

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read