Coronavirus making inroads with first cases in First Nations in Manitoba

APTN News (Canada)
Pub Date: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 06:07

Some First Nations in Manitoba are beefing up testing of the novel coronavirus after COVID-19 scares in their communities.

Fisher River, Peguis and Jackhead in Manitoba were among them after three individuals tested positive.

“Stay vigilant, stay safe, stay strong and be respectful,” said Fisher River Chief David Crate.

“We, as a community, will get through this together.”

Crate said the patients were self isolating for 14 days and being monitored by nurses while the community expands testing to get a handle on what are the first cases of COVID-19 in a First Nation in Manitoba.

Fisher River has one confirmed case and two are suspected in nearby Peguis.

A provincial medical team is on site for members of the three neighbouring First Nations, Crate added, with “rapid COVID-19 tests” for people named as close contacts, those experiencing symptoms.

Fisher River, which is 220 km north of Winnipeg, has temporarily closed its gaming centre for a thorough cleaning.

“We believe that as a community we can get through this, and encourage everyone to keep doing the safety protocols,” gaming centre manager Barry Wilson said in a post online.

The band office was also shuttered and sanitized, Crate noted.

He recommended everyone wear masks in public and practice physical distancing.

It is believed the patients are connected to each other and exposed to the virus in Winnipeg at the beginning of September.

But the chief cautioned band members from speculating about their identities online.