New COVID 19 case numbers level off in First Nations communities

By Marc Lalonde

 Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Numbers of new cases of COVID-19 in First Nations communities across Canada levelled off this week, with new case numbers dropping slightly as the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections continues to work its way through the First Nations communities from coast to coast to coast.

There are 1,834 active cases currently ongoing in First Nations communities across Canada, down slightly from 1,909 last week. Four more deaths were also added to the toll of lives lost to the virus and its complications. The death toll rose again to 433 lives lost to the virus since the pandemic began, up from last week’s 421.

The statistics continue to paint a grim picture as the fourth wave takes hold in First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities, across Canada, thanks to the more-contagious Delta variant of the virus.

ISC reports `the rate of reported active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations people living on-reserve was going down since mid-January 2021 and reached its lowest point during the first week of August at 84.2 per 100,000. Since then, it started to rise again and is currently 415.1 per 100,000 or 3.5 times the respective rate in the general Canadian population’

Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have all been hit hardest, with both Alberta jumping over the 12,000-new-case barrier with 12,315 active cases of COVID-19, Saskatchewan close on their heels with 11,643 active cases this week, with Manitoba not far behind at 9,717 active cases.

Quebec boasts but 983 active cases in Indigenous communities, also an increase from last week’s 971.

With the colder weather on its way, officials are encouraging those as-yet-unvaccinated individuals to get the vaccine and curb the continued spread of the virus.

The vaccine passport program is well underway in Quebec and in Kahnawake, with proof of vaccination required to enter movie theatres, festivals, bars, gyms and other non-essential services.

Fines of up to $6,000 are possible for non-compliant businesses in Quebec.

 Marc Lalonde  is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the  IORI:WASE. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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