(Files by Brendan Pawliw-MyPGNow)

Due to the community outbreak on Haida Gwaii, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth is restricting non-resident travel 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 the further spread of COVID-19.”

The Province will deploy staff to support communities on the mainland and on Haida Gwaii to implement the travel restriction.

There are currently 20 cases associated with the outbreak of Haida Gwaii with 13 of those still active.

According to Northern Health, all cases are believed to be related to residents who have travelled off-island, or who had contact with a resident who has travelled off-island.

“COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone in our province. I am thankful for the leadership of communities across Haida Gwaii has worked together to take these actions collaboratively,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.

“This order will help the Province ensure resources are in place to protect public health and safety as Haida Gwaii works to contain this outbreak. These measures are part of a swift, effective, and coordinated public health response that includes prioritized testing, thorough contact tracing, and prioritized travel to and from the community.”

Travel to Haida Gwaii will continue to be permitted, subject to the approval of the collective Haida Gwaii communities, for the delivery of essential goods and supplies, medical appointments, urgent or emergency family matters.