(Facebook/Snuneymuxw First Nation)

Four more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Snuneymuxw First Nation community of Vancouver Island, where the total has now reached 16 since a cluster was first announced on Jan. 1.

Everyone who has tested positive for the virus is currently in isolation, according to an update from the Nation on Monday.

Island Health nurses and the Snuneymuxw health team members continue to support those who are isolated as a shelter-in-place order remains in effect in the Nation until at least Jan. 15.

“Now more than ever, it is extremely important for everyone in our community to significantly reduce interactions with people outside of the household and decrease movement within the community,” said Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse in an update Monday.

“By doing this, all of us can help to contain the spread of the virus and do our best to prevent further transmission.”

In the coming days, Wyse says that a mobile COVID-19 testing site will be established in the Nation. Meanwhile, community leaders are working to ensure food security in the community and plans are underway to have essential groceries delivered to residents.

“Remember that it was in the middle of March 2020 when we closed our community down until the end of May,” said Wyse.

“For approximately 10 months since then, residents of Snuneymuxw were virus-free. This is something to be proud of and a source of community pride,” he said. “The health and safety measures that you practice in your personal and professional lives prove to be beneficial.”

The Nation now plans to provide daily updates for residents moving forward.