COVID 19 cases drop again in First Nations communities from coast to coast to coast 

By Marc Lalonde

 Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

With the arrival of December comes some more optimistic news, the number of new COVID-19 cases dropped slightly last week. Cases in Alberta continue to climb with no end in sight in what appears to be a worrisome trend in that province, which walked back its COVID-19 health restrictions far earlier than any other province in Canada.

There are 965 new active cases currently ongoing in First Nations communities across Canada, down from 1,086 last week, while the death toll sadly climbed again this week.

Twelve more deaths were also added to the toll of lives lost to the virus and its complications. The death toll rose again to 537 lives lost to the virus since the pandemic began, up from last week’s 528.

The statistics remain a concern 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.

Indigenous Services Canada 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  As of the last statistics available on November 9, `it started to rise again and is currently 269.5 per 100,000 or 4.3 times the respective rate in the general Canadian population.’

Alberta continued its disturbing trend as cases in that province reached and passed the 14,000-case threshold last week, climbing again to 14,185 new COVID-19 cases this week.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan have also been hit hard, with Saskatchewan remaining stable this week, reporting 13,638 new cases down slightly from 13,657 active cases last week, Manitoba also saw an increase in active cases of COVID-19 with 11,116 to climb over the 11,000-case threshold.

Quebec boasts just over 1,000 active cases in Indigenous communities, coming in at 1,115 up almost 50 cases from last week.

With the cold weather moving in quickly, officials are encouraging those as-yet-unvaccinated individuals to get the vaccine and curb the continued spread of the virus. Hand-washing, social distancing and wearing masks are all paramount when social distance can’t be maintained.

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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