The Ucluelet First Nation has declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
“The presence of virus variants of concern, in particular the Delta variant, has heightened the risk to Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ First Nation members generally and particularly to elders and members with underlying medical concerns,” reads an order from UFN president Charles McCarthy released on Thursday evening.
“As a result of this heightened risk and recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, the President wishes to declare a state of local emergency on all Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ lands to protect Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ citizens and all British Columbians from contracting COVID-19, maintain essential goods and services for Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ citizens and support the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ government’s ongoing response to COVID-19.”
In a follow-up announcement Friday morning, the Nation confirmed there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak in its community of Hitacu.
“Only residents of Hitacu under essential travel (screened and approved by the Executive or the director of operations) will be allowed to enter Hitacu,” it reads. “Citizens who do not live in Hitacu should not return to Hitacu…Urban citizens are asked to remain in their immediate locations of residence and continue to follow the Province of British Columbia’s COVID-19 safety guidelines.”
The announcement adds that Ucluelet First Nation government offices are now closed except for essential services and only individuals who have been fully vaccinated may enter.