On March 21, First Nations Health Authority, the First Nations Health Council and the First Nations Health Directors Association released the following advisory:

The First Nations Health Authority, the First Nations Health Council and the First Nations Health Directors Association are strongly advising communities to cancel or postpone all community and cultural gatherings until the COVID-19pandemic subsides.

With the increasing evidence about the rapid spread of COVID-19 in British Columbia, and on the advice of public health physicians, the First Nations Health Authority also strongly recommends against any unnecessary travel.

Furthermore, given the unprecedented risk COVID-19 presents, physical distancing is absolutely necessary to prevent serious illness and death in our communities. Please stay at least six feet apart from each other at all time. We are particularly concerned about the Elders and Knowledge Keepers, young children, and those with chronic disease. It is imperative that all of us take responsibility to care for each other by following this public health advice.

We do not make this recommendation lightly—we acknowledge the significance of cultural gatherings and events for First Nations communities, but from a public health standpoint we have the responsibility to communicate the severity of this rapidly evolving situation. Please cancel upcoming events, and reschedule for after this pandemic has passed.

 

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