Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Citizen file

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Citizen file

More than 2,200 vaccinated at Cowichan Tribes clinics since January

‘It is important we continue to spread kindness, not COVID’

Cowichan Tribes issued an update on its COVID-19 situation on Monday, acknowledging that there is light at the end of the tunnel after a year of living with pandemic protocols.

The First Nation was hit hard by the virus in early 2021, with more than 270 cases among its roughly 5,000 members since Dec. 31, 2020, including six deaths. Staff at Cowichan Tribes have been working hard to vaccinate their members as well as individuals from the greater community.

“To help limit travel, we have extended our vaccination program to all self-identified Indigenous members living in the Cowichan Valley, and their households,” explained Cowichan Tribes pandemic nurse lead Fairlie Mendoza. “When you choose to vaccinate, you are protecting, not only yourself, but your family, loved ones and community. Getting vaccinated is an act of caring.”

Thus far, more than 2,255 people have been vaccinated at Cowichan Tribes clinics, including members, individuals living in Cowichan Tribes households both on and off reserve, Cowichan Tribes staff and their households, teachers and staff at Cowichan Tribes schools and daycare, and frontline workers who interact directly with the Cowichan Tribes community.

READ MORE: Cowichan Valley leaders condemn COVID-related racism

Members of Cowichan Tribes were subjected to racist comments and behaviour shortly after the outbreak in their ranks was made public. That led to a backlash from much of the wider Cowichan Valley community, including condemnation from political leaders locally, provincially and nationally.

“We know the only way to fight the virus, and any stigma, is through working together,” said acting health director Marnie Elliott. “We appreciate the outpouring of community support in response to acts of racism. It is important we continue to spread kindness, not COVID.”

Chief and council issued a stay-at-home order for Cowichan Tribes members on Jan. 6 that was lifted on March 19. Cowichan Tribes was also one of the first First Nations on Vancouver Island to receive vaccine doses, starting their roll-out on Jan. 13.

Vaccination clinics were scheduled for Tuesday, March 30 and Wednesday, March 31 from noon to 7 p.m. for all self-identified First Nations members living in the Cowichan Valley, and their households. For more information about the vaccination clinics visit

CoronavirusCowichan Tribes

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

Just Posted

Robert’s column
Robert Barron column: New hospital shouldn’t charge for parking

Paying a parking meter is the last thing people visiting a hospital should have to worry about.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Asparagus root, dug up from the old patch and ready to be transplanted. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Some tips on growing asparagus

When choosing asparagus I recommend buying male plants for juicier, plumper spears.

If you’re looking for a goat time, visit Russell Farms Market! (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Sarah Simpson Column: Looking for a goat time on Good Friday

If you drive by the farm market a little slower you see the goat pen.

The McCloskey-Hydro Rain Garden, located in a sunny Hydro corridor and receiving about 2.5 million litres of rainwater runoff per year from the roof of nearby McCloskey Elementary School. (Deborah Jones photo)
A&E column: From nature to poetry to puppets, there’s plenty afoot

What’s going on in the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment scene

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Most Read