The Penticton Indian Band looks to reopen after Family Day weekend following a COVID-19 outbreak late last month, according a press release issued Feb. 12.
It comes after the number of cases grew to 13, and members of the band reportedly faced discrimination in the community.
Following the first case that was detected on Jan. 27, 12 more cases were reported over the next five days, leading to the PIB to declare a shelter-at-home order on Feb. 1
While the PIB was dealing with the exposure, members of the PIB found themselves facing discrimination from some businesses and service providers in the community, said Chief Greg Gabriel in the release.
“Our Council had no doubt in the ability of our Health and EOC Team and had the utmost confidence in their ability to keep the COVID-19 spread under control. It is a sad thing to witness that there are a few people with the mindset that all members of the Penticton Band may have COVID-19.”
With two weeks passing as of this weekend since the order was put in place, the PIB’s administrative buildings, school and daycare will reopen on Tuesday after the Family Day holiday.
The Penticton Indian Band Health Department completed 171 tests over 16 days and is confident that the cluster has been effectively addressed, according to the release.
Updates to the band were provided during the outbreak through social media, email and on the PIB’s website to keep the community informed.
Interior Health commended the PIB on their efforts to stop the spread, and called on the communities of the South Okanagan to be kind to each other during these times.
“We fully support their COVID-19 response and will continue to work closely together to monitor any future transmission that may occur,” said Dr. Sue Pollock, Interior Health medical health officer. “We support people in self-isolation when they test positive for COVID-19; please do not judge or discriminate against healthy individuals while they conduct essential activities in the community.”
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