Because of the COVID-19 health threat, BRFN leadership made changes to the community safety and restricted access to Blueberry River First Nations. The Chief and Council and health department are happy to announce the community will be removing the security checkpoint effective June 1 therefore, the last day of security is May 31 and June 1 is the start date of gates being open.
The 24-hour security at the gates will be removed. Backroad access to the reserve will be re-opened June 1st.
We’re doing so because all Treaty 8 Bands have removed or are working on removing security from their lands. British Columbia is easing restrictions across the province because we have followed the protocols laid out by the BC government and the federal government.
We are grateful for the partnership created with Gardaworld and to the following community members who worked on the frontline ensuring safety and security in our community:
Sandra Apsassin, Kayla Jensen, Thunder Apsassin, Samantha apsassin, Maryann Adekat, Patricia and Floyd Apannah, Stacey Davis, Norman Apsassin, Denell Greyeyes, Tianna Yahey, Jhonika Chipesia Bailey, Ticha Davis, Randa Adekat, Geraldine Davis-Greyeyes, Dennis Davis (JSD ) for the trailer.
Because the province is beginning to re-open, we’ve decided to take this step. We’re no longer under quarantine and are relaxing some of the rules. In the Northern Health region, we have seen 60 positive cases of COVID. Most of the people affected have returned home to recover. A handful of people remain in hospital. In the whole province we have seen about 2,500 cases.
While we are relaxing some of the rules, we need to stay aware of this health threat. The removal of the security checkpoint does not mean the COVID 19 virus is gone. Please remember the following:
Social distancing is still in effect. Stay 2 meters or 6 feet apart.
Staying home as much as possible
Wearing a mask when out in public
See our health department if you require a mask
Calling the health department when you are experiencing any flu like symptoms
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use and carry hand sanitizer, especially in your vehicle, purse, or bag.
Cough into your elbow or a tissue.
Disinfect common touched surfaces, such as handles, doors, etc.
If you don’t feel well, such as having a fever, cough, sore throat and sneezing, please isolate yourself for 14 days immediately.
Adding security was designed to help keep our community and our neighbours safe. It has done so as needed and we are happy to report our community has been COVID free for a month. We are in this together and it is your responsibility to keep your loved ones safe and healthy. We will be following the guidance provided by our Health Services, the province, and the federal government on COVID-19 on when other restrictions are lifted.
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Blueberry River First Nation – Band Member Tracey Paquette has been released from the FSJ hospital after having recently returned from the hospital in Prince George after a lengthy battle with COVID-19. Tracey will continue to recover and recuperate at her home.
Mrs. Paquette was the first to test positive for COVID-19 in April. She spent a few weeks in hospital in Prince George, some of that time on a ventilator to help her breathe. Her family and friends are thrilled to have her safe at home where she can recover safely.
During this COVID-19 outbreak, our community has rallied around to protect our Elders and vulnerable band members from this health threat. Because of how contagious this respiratory virus is, we continue to restrict those who can come into Blueberry River First Nation in an effort to shield our band members, especially our Elders. As keepers of our traditions and the drivers of our forward thinking values, our Elders are the backbone of our community. We must ensure our positive role models continue to lead our community.
Especially during challenging health times like these, it’s important to maintain a balanced lifestyle, while eating a balance of healthy food and exercising.
In her daily statement to the media on Wednesday, May 6, Doctor Bonnie Henry shared that, “we must also continue to show kindness and compassion to those around us, as we remain 100% committed. It is in all of our hands. Let’s remember to wash them.” It’s easy to show each other kindness and compassion by supporting each other and checking in on your neighbours during these times. One of the best practices to reduce the spread of this virus is to wash your hands with soap and warm water.
As of Sunday, May 11, Northern Health reported 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the region. Of those cases, 50 people have recovered in Northern B.C. Overall the number of cases B.C. has seen is leveling off.
Merli de Guzman