Six Nations numbers surge, community urged stay home, stay away from gatherings

  Six Nations Health Services urges residents to get tested if they attend any events outside normal household

By Victoria Gray

Writer

SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND-Six Nations has almost 80 active COVID-19 cases in the community, the highest number of active cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We’ve hit some pretty concerning milestones,” Elected Chief Mark Hill said during his weekly radio update Friday, Feb., 26, 2021.

Elected Chief Mark Hill

Elected Chief Mark Hill

Ohsweken Public Health is pleading with the community to follow health and safety guidelines, to get tested and to self-isolate for 14 days if they have gone to a gathering.

In the last 24 hours Six Nations reported eight new cases, but the website wasn’t updated on February 25.

The Six Nations COVID-19 website has now been updated to show that on Feb. 25 there was spike in cases with 36 people testing positive that day. This is the largest one-day spike Six Nations has had since the beginning of the pandemic.

There are now 79 active cases in the community. There have been 321 cases since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 and three deaths.

The chart wasn’t updated until Friday, Feb., 26, 2021

The Six Nations COVID-19 reporting website had previously listed 0 cases on Feb. 25, 23 and 22. Those dates now show 36, four and one respectively.

15 cases were reported on Feb. 24.

“The recent high number of positive cases is extremely concerning,” Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) said in a press release.

In the last seven days the assessment centre has processed 143 tests and people are waiting almost three days for a test.

Those aged 20 to 39 continue to have the highest number of infections and those aged 40 to 64 follow close behind with females accounting for almost 53 per cent of cases.

Ohsweken Public Health is asking community members to get tested for COVID-19 immediately if they have attended any gathering outside of their immediate household whether they were wearing a mask or not. Community members should also get tested if they have came in contact with other community members who attended a gathering. This includes people who live in your household.

“It is important to realize that people who have had exposure to COVID-19 can spread the infection even before they know they have COVID-19,” the press release said.

71 people have tested positive in the last seven days including two staff members from Iroquois Lodge.

“We must all remain diligent and do our part to slow the spread of this virus. Members are reminded to draw on the strength of our ancestors and our traditional medicines to continue this fight. We must all work together to protect one another, especially our Elders, knowledge keepers, and the most vulnerable within the community,” Hill said.

On Feb. 24, Ohsweken Public Health notified the lodge two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Those results were found because of the surveillance testing safeguard measure that they’ve had in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help keep residents and staff member’s safe, many heightened safety measures have been put in place at the Iroquois Lodge.

Staff members have been directed to self-isolate by Ohsweken Public Health while they confirm testing is complete and try to identify whether or not an official outbreak should be reported to the Ministry of Long Term Care.

Family members of residents at the Iroquois Lodge were notified about the cases by staff.

SNEC is urging the community to continue following health and safety guidelines to stop any further spread of COVID-19 in the community.

This includes staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing, wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, and avoiding large gatherings or leaving the territory.

Ohsweken Public Health wants those who have attended any community gatherings in the last two weeks to self-isolate for 14 days from the last day of attendance and contact the assessment centre for testing.

If needed there are supports for people to successfully self-isolate, like laundry, cleaning supplies, groceries, water, mental health supports, personal protective equipment, personal care items and traditional supports.

Community members can access these supports through the Assessment Centre at 1-855-977-7737 or 226-446-9909, or through Ohsweken Public Health at 519-445-2672.

They also strongly encourage community members get tested for COVID-19 if they are experiencing symptoms or think they may have been exposed to the virus.

“It is important to realize that people who have had exposure to COVID-19 can spread the infection even before they know they have COVID-19,” a press release said.

To book a COVID-19 test at the assessment center visit www.sixnationsCOVID19.ca or call 1-855-977-7737 or 226-446-9909.

To sign up for the vaccine registry visit www.sixnationsCOVID19.ca or call 226-227-9288 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

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