Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Citizen file

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Citizen file

More than 2,200 vaccinated at Cowichan Tribes clinics since January

‘It is important we continue to spread kindness, not COVID’

Cowichan Tribes issued an update on its COVID-19 situation on Monday, acknowledging that there is light at the end of the tunnel after a year of living with pandemic protocols.

The First Nation was hit hard by the virus in early 2021, with more than 270 cases among its roughly 5,000 members since Dec. 31, 2020, including six deaths. Staff at Cowichan Tribes have been working hard to vaccinate their members as well as individuals from the greater community.

“To help limit travel, we have extended our vaccination program to all self-identified Indigenous members living in the Cowichan Valley, and their households,” explained Cowichan Tribes pandemic nurse lead Fairlie Mendoza. “When you choose to vaccinate, you are protecting, not only yourself, but your family, loved ones and community. Getting vaccinated is an act of caring.”

Thus far, more than 2,255 people have been vaccinated at Cowichan Tribes clinics, including members, individuals living in Cowichan Tribes households both on and off reserve, Cowichan Tribes staff and their households, teachers and staff at Cowichan Tribes schools and daycare, and frontline workers who interact directly with the Cowichan Tribes community.

READ MORE: Cowichan Valley leaders condemn COVID-related racism

Members of Cowichan Tribes were subjected to racist comments and behaviour shortly after the outbreak in their ranks was made public. That led to a backlash from much of the wider Cowichan Valley community, including condemnation from political leaders locally, provincially and nationally.

“We know the only way to fight the virus, and any stigma, is through working together,” said acting health director Marnie Elliott. “We appreciate the outpouring of community support in response to acts of racism. It is important we continue to spread kindness, not COVID.”

Chief and council issued a stay-at-home order for Cowichan Tribes members on Jan. 6 that was lifted on March 19. Cowichan Tribes was also one of the first First Nations on Vancouver Island to receive vaccine doses, starting their roll-out on Jan. 13.

Vaccination clinics were scheduled for Tuesday, March 30 and Wednesday, March 31 from noon to 7 p.m. for all self-identified First Nations members living in the Cowichan Valley, and their households. For more information about the vaccination clinics visit www.cowichantribes.com

CoronavirusCowichan Tribes

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

Just Posted

The old Stanley Gordon school in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)
Editorial: Old school properties represent potential for our areas

There are opportunities, often sitting right in the middle of our small communities.

Sweet gum trees like this one in City Square will be replaced over the next three years. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan plans big tree replacement project for downtown

Sweet gums in City Square and along Station Street will go over the next three years

Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Logan Rands pokes the puck away from Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Talon Duff. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Offence sags as Cowichan Capitals reach midway mark

Caps score one goal in three games as pod season continues

BCYP Minister for the Southern Interior, Aislinn Dressler of Fernie said the Youth Parliament being virtual was a great way to learn about how the BC Parliament was operating. (Photo contributed by Aislinn Dressler)
Applications open for Islands Youth Parliament

Applications must be received by April 23

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
An Island girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

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

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

Chum Salmon fry being examined with multiple motile and attached sea lice on Vargas Island. (Cedar Coast Field Station photo)
Study: Tofino fish farm sea lice infestations add fuel to push to remove open pens

Ahousaht First Nation asking for higher standards than what DFO requires

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Most Read