Nisga’a Nation declares state of local emergency amidst rising COVID-19 cases

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The Nisga'a Lisims Government has declared a state of local emergency in response to rising cases of COVID-19 in the Nass Valley. 

Since December 28th, there have been 68 positive cases of COVID-19 within Nisga'a communities. 28 of them are still active.

Travel to and from each individual Nisga'a village is now prohibited, except for the purpose of accessing essential services. Security monitoring will be put in place to ensure that these orders are followed. 

Social gatherings in private residences with people from outside one's household or core bubble also remain prohibited. 

Nisga'a Nation President Eva Clayton told CFTK TV news that she sees individuals in the Nass Valley coming together amidst the pandemic and the difficulties it brings. 

"We have individuals who have fear. We have individuals who continue to remain strong and vigilant and are encouraging one another, their family and friends to continue to remain strong and safe. It's like with the rest of the world, at a smaller level we have that kind of interaction going on."

Clayton also said there was an elder who recently passed away due to COVID-19, and that this death has reverberated throughout Nisga'a communities.

"The community is not only taking the death quite hard but is more aware that this is real. They are more aware that death comes with this virus depending on the nature of your immune system, and the individual who was affected and died from COVID-19 had a very compromised immune system."

The COVID-19 vaccine will also soon arrive in the Nass Valley. Clayton said the vaccine will be available in Nisga'a communities sometime by mid-February.