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Alert Bay Loses a Member of the Community to COVID-19

The Namgis First Nation at Alert Bay off Northern Vancouver Island has lost an elder to the coronavirus.

Dr. Dan Cutfeet of the Namgis health clinic revealed her death in a social media video post saying, “We lost a community member of Alert Bay. He added, “we’re thinking of family, thinking of friends in a time of crisis.”

The name of the person said to be an elder in the Namgis community, has not been released.

Tiny Cormorant Island near Port McNeill is suffering a cluster outbreak of COVID-19.

In his video post, Dr Cutfeet acknowledged the stress people in Alert Bay are feeling by saying, “these are challenging times,” and thanking the people in the community “for all the work you’ve been doing in self-distancing, and self-isolating, wearing masks – great work.”

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He says everyone on Cormorant Island who has symptoms is being tested and urged anyone who is feeling ill to contact the health clinic and arrange for a test.

On April 13, Alert Bay Mayor Dennis Buchanan announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Alert Bay has now extended its local state of emergency that was declared on April 18 and will continue the curfew for the community that begins at 9:30 pm each night and lasts until 6 am.

Anyone attempting to traveling by ferry between Cormorant Island and Port McNeill must provide proof that they are on an essential trip.

Residents leaving the island are warned that they may be denied permission to return if their trip is considered non-essential.

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