Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel addresses his community during COVID-19 outbreak.

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel addresses his community during COVID-19 outbreak.

WATCH: PIB Chief takes to Youtube as COVID-19 cases grow to 12

Shelter at home declaration is a suggestion, not an order

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel took to YouTube to address his community about the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

“I want to bring clarity to the community notice,” said Gabriel in the Feb. 1 video. “Myself and council have met with the emergency operations team. We now have 12 confirmed cases which is up two more from yesterday (Jan. 31).”

“Contract tracing for the two new cases is already happening.”

Gabriel stressed that the community notice to shelter at home is not an order, but a suggestion “to bring your attention of what’s happening in our community,” he said.

“We are not saying everyone has to stay at home for two weeks,” he added. “People need to go to work, children need to go to school. If you haven’t been contacted to self isolate you can go about living your life.”

Gabriel commended and thanked the team at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the PIB Health Department who have been working tirelessly. But they are being overwhelmed with work, he said.

“That’s why were are reaching out to the community of Penticton to help carry out testing,” he said.

Gabriel said he knows people are scared.

“Over the course of a year, you’ve done extremely well and we can come together again. We are doing our best to keep it contained and everyone safe,” he said.

Gabriel said he will continue to provide updates.

Meanwhile, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band near Keremeos and Cawston has declared at state of emergency after five people have tested positive.

READ MORE: COVID cases sparks State of Emergency at LSIB

READ MORE: Shelter at home declaration for PIB community

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