(Dr. Shannon McDonald, Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority/BC Gov News)

Indigenous people in British Columbia have accounted for a relatively small fraction of the 2,869 COVID-19 cases reported in the province so far.

At a briefing on Friday, Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority, Dr. Shannon McDonald, announced that between January 1 and June 14, just 87 Indigenous people contracted the virus, and four of them died as a result.

Since the start of the pandemic, McDonald says there have been around 5,500 coronavirus tests conducted in First Nations communities to date, and as of this morning just three active cases remain.

Just six of the 87 cases were among children aged between 10 and 19 years old.

“The worst that many anticipated and feared did not happen,” she said.

McDonald credits the low transmission rates in those communities to fast decisions made by Indigenous leaders including limiting travel to and from reserves and cancelling large gatherings.

She was joined by provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, who reiterated her usual calls for people to not travel to smaller communities if they’re unwell or unwelcome, and to be respectful of local populations.

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