TNG: April 08, 2020 – COVID-19 Update #14

Press Release

April 8, 2020

Our continued response COVID-19:

TNG remains committed to keeping our employees and the communities we serve safe.

Therefore, we are sharing the following information.

Confirmed Cases:

As the virus continues to spread throughout BC and we are calling on everyone to do their part to stop the spread by staying home or out on the land. As of April 8, 2020, the number of confirmed cases reported are as follows;

Total new cases: 45
Total cases in BC: 1,336
Total cases in Interior Health region: 130
Total cases in Northern Health region: 23
Total recoveries: 838
Total deaths: 48

A Message from Dr. Rob Coetzee and NP Patrice Gordon:

April 7, 2020

Take a moment to reflect on this statement:

“I would rather miss my family and friends for a few months than never see them again”

In the past 24 hours, four more people have died from COVID 19 in BC. In the past few days, we’ve been hearing reports of people in many communities west of Williams Lake getting together, some partying, some visiting… but getting slack with the social distancing and stay at home guidance from our Provincial Health Officer. This worries us terribly and makes us think that we’ve maybe not sent a strong enough message.

We hear a lot of “Well, it was just a couple/few of us and we’re not sick”… but here’s the deal: You may be one of the people who shows few or no symptoms of COVID 19 but is still passing it along to others. Staying in your community for 2 weeks is not the same as self-isolating. If you have been, not even into Williams Lake, but just to the General Store in any community, to the clinic, to the post office, to the band office, to the picnic table by the lake or to ANY place where others outside your household have been, you could possibly have been exposed. And you can then pass the infection on to people who are not able to fight off the virus successfully. They could become very ill. They could die. This is happening all over the province, all over the world — and we need to understand that we are not safe out here unless we are VERY serious about the guidelines.

Kids can also be healthy carriers of the COVID 19 virus… and we know how difficult it is to keep children maintaining social distancing rules. This is a really hard thing. The sun is shining, kids want to be outside to play with their friends. But they can NOT be permitted to play together right now unless they live in the same household. Not with cousins from the house down the road. Not with healthy-looking kids from across the street. We need to be so strict about this. For the safety of our elders and vulnerable. We are fortunate that we can AS A HOUSEHOLD UNIT, be outside because we live where there is space to have that freedom without being in contact with others. But don’t plan to meet up with other families at the park/beach/trails when there are kids involved who will not have the capacity to understand how critical social distancing is.

Adhering strictly to the social distancing rules is also for the protection of another group of people who are in limited supply: Your health care providers. That’s us. Your NP, your doctor, your nurses, your health staff. Every time you get together, you’re increasing the chance of being infected. When someone is sick and needs to be tested, it is us who come to do the test and then help arrange for care. It is the nurses in your community who may be involved if someone gets very sick suddenly. These situations increase the risk to us. Any disregard of the guidelines increases the chances that we are affected, no matter how careful we are. If we fall ill, who will replace us? Who then will care for you? We are working hard for you – Please do your part to protect us.

We can not stress strongly enough how serious this is. It’s a global pandemic but it is also here on our doorstep. If you have to shame your friends/family/neighbours to encourage cooperation, then do so. The experts are warning that this may be about to take off in Canada – we can be protected or we can be part of the crisis – It is up to us to do the right thing.

In case anyone is unclear about the guidelines:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Maintain “social distance” – at least 6 feet from anyone outside your household when you do have to be around others
  • Wash your hands often and well
  • Cover your cough/sneeze
  • If you need health care/advice, call ahead to your clinic

We are here for you. Let’s pull together.


Dr. Rob Coetzee
NP Patrice Gordon

TNG Emergency and Health Lines:

If you have a health-related question please contact the TNG Health Office directly. The Health line is operational Monday to Friday from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm.

Health Office: Ph:(250) 398-8575

Please call the EOC – State of Emergency Information line if you have questions concerning the COVID-19 emergency situation. The phone is operational during working hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm subject to TNG’s EOC Action Plan.

EOC – State of Emergency Information: Ph: (250)-305-6151

TNG is here for you:

TNG remains operational, a source of information and a point of contact for communities. If you have questions or concerns please reach out to our staff via telephone or email.

TNG office telephone numbers:
TNG Downtown Office: (250) 392-3918
TNG Health Office: (250) 398-8575
TNG EOC – State of Emergency Information: (250)-305-6151

Resources to stay up-to-date on COVID-19 include:

Tŝilhqot’in National Government – Emergency Page
Government of Canada – Public Health
Government of BC – Health Link BC
First Nations Health Authority
World Health Organization


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