Six Nations numbers dropping

Positive COVID-19 cases on Six Nations have declined rapidly over the last week, but variants of concern have hit the community while vaccinations continue to roll out.
Ohsweken Public Health reported it’s first case of a COVID-19 variant of concern on March 18 and the second case on March 22.
The strain of the VOC has not been identified.
There are currently 18 active cases on Six Nations, but zero positive COVID-19 cases have been reported since March 18, when three positive cases were added. In the last seven days there have been 10 new cases reported and 20 people have recovered from the virus, 156 people remain in self-isolation. There have been a total of 434 positive COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic last March. One person remains in hospital and there have been eight deaths in the community.
Last week Six Nations Elected Chief Mark Hill announced 6,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were en route to the community and all community members were urged to fill out the online vaccination registration form.
Six Nations Elected Council (SNEC) and Ohsweken Public Health moved the vaccination centre from Emily C. General Elementary School over the weekend of March 20-21 to the Gaylord Powless Arena where all vaccinations are taking place. Currently 2,526 people have registered for the first dose of the two-dose vaccine and 851 people have received that first dose, while 128 people in the community have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated.
The Premiere of Ontario, Doug Ford announced that in order to get as many people vaccinated as possible the province would extend the timeline between doses from 21-28 days to up to four months, despite manufacturer concerns about the efficacy of the vaccine with an extended timeline because that was not tested in their clinical trials.
SNEC will not follow suit. Community members who choose to receive a vaccination at the arena will receive their second dose within Moderna’s 28-day window.
SNEC initially told community members that if they were vaccinated outside of the territory, they would have to get their second dose in the same place, but in light of the extended timeline for the second dose SNEC is looking into how to switch people from an off-reservation health unit to Six Nations Health to get vaccinated within the manufacturer recommended timeline, but there is no word on when that may happen.
Despite having the first dose of the vaccination SNEC is warning community members that it is still possible to become infected with COVID-19 and urging residents to continue following public health measures including frequent hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing.
Six Nations has been in the Black Alert Level Status since early January, which means community members should only leave the territory for essential trips like groceries or medical appointments. People should not gather with anyone outside of their household, and businesses will continue offering curbside pick-up and take-out only.
SNEC did not return requests for comments on when the community may see restrictions ease.
For more information about COVID-19 in the community, to register for a COVID-19 test or to register for a vaccination https://www.sixnationscovid19.ca/. If you don’t have access to the internet or can’t use the online system to book a COVID-19 test call call 1-855-977-7737 or locally at 226-446-9909. For help registering for a vaccine call 226-227-9288, 7 days a week, between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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