A view from the water shows the Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital and Health Centre. (Haida Gwaii Observer/File photo)

Non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii shut down amid COVID outbreak

Province will enforce travel restrictions from islands and mainland

The province has restricted non-residents from travelling to Haida Gwaii to help contain a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected 20 islanders to date.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth made the announcement today (July 30) under the state of provincial emergency, saying the province will maintain essential goods and services to the archipelago.

“The Province, Northern Health and the First Nations Health Authority are working closely with the Haida Nation and local governments on Haida Gwaii to respond to this COVID-19 outbreak,” Farnworth said. “Our foremost concern is the health and safety of all residents of Haida Gwaii, and we’re working together to limit further spread of COVID-19.”

Provincial staff will be deployed to communities on the mainland and Haida Gwaii to enforce the travel restriction.

It’s believed the 20 cases are linked to residents who travelled off island.

READ MORE: COVID-19: No new cases on Haida Gwaii in past 24 hours

The province has prioritized testing for Haida Gwaii.

The province said its decision to restrict non-resident travel was made in collaboration with the Council of the Haida Nation, the band councils and all local governments.

Travel to and from the islands will be subject to the approval of the communities for limited reasons, including delivery of essential goods and supplies, medical appointments, urgent or emergency family matters, and for the provision of essential services as defined by the unified command structure comprised of the Council of the Haida Nation, village councils and local governments.

As of July 29, there were 13 cases that were still active and seven had recovered.

-with files from Karissa Gall

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

Just Posted

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

Amid pandemic, a new Castlegar princess is crowned

Hailey Gleboff was named Castlegar Princess.

No charges yet in death of Abbotsford officer Allan Young

Police and Crown say the investigation is still underway

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Most Read