Ahousaht First Nation closes to non-residents, schools remain shut down as COVID-19 cases rise

Ahousaht First Nation closes to non-residents, schools remain shut down as COVID-19 cases rise
Chris Corday/CBC
Ahousaht, on Flores Island, is one of B.C.'s largest coastal First Nation communities. The nation is one of 14 First Nations that make up the Nuu-chah-Nulth Tribal Council.

Students in British Columbia have been back to school for almost two weeks now, however, that is not the case for a small First Nations community off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Both the high school and elementary school in Ahousaht sit empty as COVID-19 cases rise within the community.

In the latest update from Ahousaht Administration, there are 19 active cases within the community and eight cases reported for people living away from home — with one COVID case resulting in hospitalization.

As of Monday, September 27, the community has closed to non-residents and is only allowing approved essential travel to the island in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Ahousaht Administration also announced that gatherings will not be allowed until further notice, emphasizing a particular concern surrounding partying.

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“We encourage people to stay at home, stop partying,” reads the update posted on Monday.

The Administration is suggesting people in isolation to have a tote outside of their residences for community members to drop off items and people can email [email protected] if they are in need of food and cleaning supplies.

As for both schools on the island, the Ahousaht Education Authority says it is extending the school closures until Oct. 8.

Of the nearly 1,000 residents in the community, 508 adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 428 adults are fully vaccinated. A further 57 youth ages 12-17 are at least partially vaccinated.

The Administration notes that COVID cases have been in the community since September 4, 2021.


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