Lake Babine Nation has declared a State of Emergency banning non-essential travel, visiting, and gatherings of any kind, in all five communities.

This comes as the Nation is experiencing increasing amounts of COVID-19 cases, and the order will last until November 5.

Lake Babine has communities situated around 200 km west of Prince George and is the third-largest Aboriginal band in all of BC.

According to the Nation, they’ve lost 6 members to the virus and they’re now seeing 2-3 members testing positive daily, and there are at least 12 lab-confirmed cases of Covid 19 and many members are awaiting test results.

Additionally, Murphy Abraham, Chief of Lake Babine Nation says the virus is impacting young and healthy people like never before, and unvaccinated members are getting sicker and staying sicker for longer periods.

“The virus can’t move on its own, it needs people to move it,” said Chief Abraham. “As we approach Thanksgiving, we need to stop this virus in its tracks. Today’s declaration bans all non-essential travel and visiting until this outbreak is under control.”

Lake Babine Nation Emergency Operations Centre (E.O.C.) is observing more transmission among children onto unvaccinated adults, including those with compromised health.  “

“While our children have been able to fight the virus effectively, that’s not always true for the parents and grandparents they are passing it to,” said E.O.C. Director, Bernard Patrick. “The common thread is gatherings. Transmission is happening while traveling, visiting, and attending funerals and potlatches.”

The State of Emergency also orders all members who have tested positive for COVID-19 or live with someone who has tested positive to stay home and isolate.

Lake Babine Nation has services and supports available for members to isolate and recover at home including groceries, medications, and other essential items.

Deputy Chief Derek McDonald who recently overcame his own battle with Covid said “We cannot risk losing any more members to this virus. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated. Covid vaccines are safe, effective, and available for our members.”