Member of Blueberry River First Nation has COVID-19

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Blueberry River First Nation has confirmed a member of the band has been verified to have COVID-19.

Late Thursday, the Blueberry River First Nations announced that as of April 9, 2020, a member of the band has been confirmed to have COVID-19. Family members have confirmed that Tracy Paquette has COVID-19.

Family members have also confirmed Tracy Paquette worked at the Peace Villa Long Term Care facility in Fort St. John. It’s not clear when she worked her last shift.

The Blueberry says the person has been in contact with several individuals in the community.

The Band is ordering all residents who have come in contact with Tracy Paquette to self-isolate. Contact is being described as people who have direct contact with a confirmed case and anyone that could have been exposed to the virus but doesn’t have symptoms.

Travel to the Blueberry River First Nations will now be restricted to members of the band only.

In order to control the spread of the virus, the Blueberry has implemented security that will see all the back road access in and out of the reserve closed to all traffic effective Friday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m.

Below is the noticed shared by the Blueberry River First Nation.

Northern Health and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have said they won’t release individual information about COVID-19 cases due to privacy concerns.

Dr. Henry released a letter earlier this week outlining why they aren’t sharing details of each case. “It would be irresponsible to mention only a few communities and give people outside those areas a false sense that they are not susceptible or at lower risk. Every health region in British Columbia has people with COVID-19. Every community and home town – no matter how large or small – is at risk.”

The letter goes onto say, “Public-health protocols also dictate that when the potential for transmission is unknown, we must immediately alert the public. From the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in B.C., we have been doing exactly that – alerting people to the risks within communities through regular briefings and connecting with individuals who are close contacts. When we cannot close the circle, we open the circle.”

This is a developing story and we will update this as more information becomes available.

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