The Haida Nation has advised residents of Haida Gwaii about a new case of COVID-19, the first for the community since the start of the pandemic.
In a statement published to a community bulletin and posted on social media, it reads that a “self-reported case” of the novel coronavirus was declared Friday.
“Self-reported means that one of our good people have notified our officials that they have tested positive for COVID-19,” said the statement.
The Haida Nation added it has also heard from community members who say they are self-isolating after being notified of possible exposure.
According to the Haida Nation, the Skidegate Band and Old Massett Village councils have implemented curfews and set up checkpoints between communities to slow any spread of the virus.
“The purpose of these checkpoints is to provide information to residents of the Haida Gwaii state of emergency and to keep people and their loved ones safe,” the statement says.
Back on July 8, Jason Alsop, Gaagwiis, Haida president, posted a video message that called on non-residents and visitors to give the community time to analyze their appropriate next steps and to avoid travelling to the area.
“All we are asking for is time,” said Alsop. “Time to go through our process, time to prepare ourselves, and time to emerge from this state of lockdown to slowly opening up our circles and our communities.”
Haida Gwaii points to having limited access to health resources as one of the key factors in asking visitors to stay away.
Non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii remains prohibited, although at least two fishing lodges say they have reopened because visitors can be flown directly to the lodges from the mainland in order to eliminate any contact with Island residents.
Following news of the self-reported COVID-19 case, the Council of Haida Nation posted an updated set of guidelines under the island’s current state of emergency.
In addition to checkpoints and curfews, Haida Gwaii is restricting residents from having physical contact with anyone outside of their immediate family.
The Haida Nation is encouraging individuals and businesses to record interactions with others to help with contact tracing.
Also, Haida Gwaii has set up “Circles of Care” in each community for any person or their families if they test positive.