Manitoba First Nations leaders consider more lockdowns as COVID-19 case numbers rise – CBC

Lack of proper housing, overcrowding contributing to spread, says Pimicikamak Cree Nation chief

Jan 06, 2022

With COVID-19 cases spreading quickly in at least half of all First Nations in Manitoba, some chiefs are considering declaring states of emergency for their communities, officials say.

The Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team says more than 40 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba had active COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday. That’s up from the low 20s before Christmas.

The current five-day test positivity rate on-reserve is 25 per cent, the pandemic response team said in its Thursday update.

At least eight communities in the north already have some form of lockdown or travel restrictions in place. The Southern Chiefs’ Organization says at least two southern communities are currently under lockdown, with another under partial lockdown.

Three chiefs told CBC News they are mulling whether to declare a state of emergency.

Pimicikamak Cree Nation Chief David Monias said with at least 114 active cases in his community right now, he’s considering the move. He expects the true number of cases is much higher, since people have been relying on rapid tests and waiting days for their PCR test results.

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