VANCOUVER -- The Cowichan Tribes First Nation has extended its shelter-in-place order for two more weeks as the community sees more COVID-19 infections and two more deaths from the disease.

Chief William Seymour shared news of the deaths in a letter to members of the community posted on the First Nation's Facebook page Wednesday. 

The nation declared a COVID-19 outbreak on Jan. 1 after discovering a cluster of cases. More than 100 members of the Cowichan Tribes had tested positive for the coronavirus by Jan. 15, and the nation reported its first death from the disease on Jan. 26.

"We are still seeing new COVID-19 cases in our community, some people are in hospital, and new households are being affected," Seymour says in his letter, explaining the rationale for extending the shelter-in-place order until March 5.

The letter indicates that the two recent deaths from COVID-19 happened over the weekend, and offers condolences to the families of the deceased on behalf of the nation's chief, council and community.

"It's important to share that the individuals who passed away were both young adults," Seymour writes. "While we've been making great efforts to protect our Elders, we now see that this virus is high-risk for many and we must all take it seriously and continue to be careful."

The letter reminds community members to get tested for COVID-19 at the first sign of symptoms, and includes details on how to seek testing through the Cowichan Tribes health centre.