July 15, 2020
CITIZEN UPDATE: Haida Gwaii COVID-19 Pandemic Response
Haida Gwaii remains in a state of emergency (SOE) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Haida Nation, in collaboration with All-Island governments, declared an SOE on March 23, 2020. Together, all levels of local government agreed to exercise care and caution with the emergency measures in place. Together, we have been following guidelines set by the BC Restart Plan, and in some cases, maintained stricter safeguards and measures.
At this time, non-resident and non-essential travel is still not permitted under Haida Gwaii’s SOE. With limited health care resources on Haida Gwaii and in consideration of historical traumas, our Elders and citizens require additional time and protections to feel safe.
The decision to move forward, or backward, in Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 measures is dictated by several factors, including but not limited to:
- Current trends in COVID-19 cases globally, nationally and especially within the province and Northern Health Region
- Status of the Canada / United States border
- Access to personal protective equipment, such as sanitizers, gloves, masks, etc.
- Availability, reliability and timely access to information sharing, screening, rapid testing, and culturally safe contact tracing
- Balancing of other health related issues
This is a global health pandemic and the Haida Nation’s top priority is the health and well-being of Haida citizens and the people of Haida Gwaii. We are continuing with our risk assessment, information gathering, and consultation period to determine how and when the Haida Nation will permit non-resident travel. This process is transparent and applies to all equally throughout the Islands.
CHN will issue a formal statement on the next phase of COVID-19 response following our fulsome risk assessment process. Until then, Haida Gwaii will remain closed to visitors.