Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)

Cowichan Tribes confirms 1st death amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

Cowichan Tribes has had its first death from COVID-19.

Chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the death on Tuesday, although he didn’t have any specific details.

“I never got a name,” he said. “I was just informed that we lost a community member.”

Cowichan Tribes announced on Monday that there had been 171 cases in the community, up from 128 a week earlier. Of those 171, 125 had recovered, six were in hospital, and 39 were in isolation. The First Nation was able to vaccinate 600 of its roughly 5,000 members on Jan. 13 and 14.

“It looks like the number of recoveries is pretty good,” the chief said. “I’m praying.”

In line with their traditional teachings, and to honour and respect the grieving family, Cowichan Tribes has also said it will take a break from providing updates on confirmed COVID numbers.

A shelter-in-place order for Cowichan Tribes members has been extended two weeks. It was originally scheduled to end on Jan. 22, but will now stay in effect through Feb. 5

Under the shelter-in-place order, all members are required to stay at home. Access to residential areas and residential buildings on reserve land is restricted. Barriers and checkpoints have been set up to enforce the order and provide information.

Residents may only leave their homes for work, school, medical appointments, to get groceries, medicine or other essential items, or to care for a family member who is ill. Households are asked to designate one person to go shopping, and to limit shopping trips to once per week. If possible, they should order over the phone and have essential items delivered to their homes.

Residents are not permitted to gather or hold events indoors or outdoors with people from outside their household.

Squtxulenhuw has also informed local businesses about the specifics of the order following some racist responses in the larger community to the Cowichan Tribes outbreak.

“It’s got to stop,” he said. “I sent a letter out to all the stores and restaurants explaining the order. We’re not locking up our community; only if someone has tested positive do they need to go into isolation. I hope they understand that. I’ve had a couple of calls apologizing. It’s getting out there. I’ve had some feedback, and it’s all been positive.”



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusCowichan Tribescowichan valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows United Church has a new Expression Station, to create a record of people’s feelings during this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Special to The News)
Closed by COVID-19, Pitt Meadows church offers Expression Station

Say what you need to say in this pandemic time, offers United Church

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Feb. 28

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

On Monday, March 1, 2021, Maple Ridge is hosting an information session on Choose to Move, a fitness program for people 65 and older. (Maple Ridge image)
Maple Ridge seniors invited to information session on free fitness program

Learn about the program for those 65 and older on Monday, March 1

Phyllis Neufeld was on the Alouette River dike in Pitt Meadows on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, when she took this photo. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Sun breaks through a rainy Pitt Meadows sky

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

The artwork is by Caitlin Legault who is not the only local person grateful to those who work in health care. A local letter writer recently had to go to hospital and wanted everyone there to know that their efforts are appreciated. (Special to The News)
LETTER: Pitt Meadows letter writer grateful for all those who cared for her at hospital

Staff in every department worthy of praise, local woman says

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Bell, lights candles on behalf of Bell’s two sons during a vigil on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO and PHOTOS: Candlelight vigil for missing Chilliwack woman sends message of hope

Small group of family, friends gathered to shine light for 23-year-old mother Shaelene Bell

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Most Read